Total stock size and cannibalism regulate the recruitment in cod (Gadus morhua L.) on the Faroe Plateau

Petur Steingrund, Rógvi Mouritsen, Jákup Reinert, Eilif Gaard, Hjálmar Hátun

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Year-class strength of fish is often considered to be determined at the pelagic larval stage, but we show that year-class strength of cod on the Faroe Plateau seems to be determined later, at the 1- or 2-group stage. Adult cod (C), measured in terms of the catch per unit effort (cpue) of small longliners, move into nearshore nursery areas of juvenile cod when in poor condition and probably displace 1-year-old cod to deeper water, where they are cannibalized. In addition, the recruitment of 2-year-old cod, at least up to a certain level, is positively related to the total biomass (B) of older cod on the Faroe Plateau, which are present at about the same time as the recruitment event. This feature, which seems to be a new observation in terms of the recruitment dynamics of cod, is possibly related to enhanced foraging or a reduced predation risk. The recruitment of 2-year-old cod during the years 1984–2006 is described by aB/C + d (r2 = 0.87), where a and d are fitted constants. The implications for stock assessment and management are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • cannibalism
  • cod condition
  • cod recruitment
  • ecosystem productivity
  • food availability
  • Gadus morhua
  • spatial distrubution


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