Spawning dynamics of the eastern gemfish (Rexea solandri) in relation to regional oceanography in south-eastern Australia
Prince, J.D. and Griffin, D.A. (2001) Spawning dynamics of the eastern gemfish (Rexea solandri) in relation to regional oceanography in south-eastern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 52 (4). pp. 611-622.
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Experienced fishers believe the winter aggregations of gemfish are influenced by the following: cold bottom currents from the south and east flowing up onto the shelf; the edge of warm-core eddies; and topographic features along the shelf break. These claims were tested through observations made at sea during industry surveys of the winter gemfish seasons 1996-98, and the study of 250 m isotherm charts, sea surface temperature data, and historic catch data. The study generally confirmed the anecdotal information collected from the fishers. The first gemfish aggregations of the winter season often form on the southern edge of a warm-core eddy. Secondarily, aggregations tend to form around the northern edge of the warm-core eddy if it is interacting with the shelf break. Finally, gemfish aggregate around the point at which the main flow of the East Australian Current (EAC) detaches from the continental shelf. This timing and location apparently coincides with conditions conducive to the production of subsurface plumes of nutrient-rich deep Sub-Antarctic mode Water. These plumes lead to seasonal enhancement of phytoplankton growth along the edge of the continental shelf, which may offer the adaptive advantage of enhancing the survival and growth of larval gemfish.
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