Discrimination of the redfish (Sebastes mentella) stock components in the Irminger Sea and adjacent waters based on meristics, morphometry and biological characteristics


Author's address: Magdalena Podolska, National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kollataja 1, PL-81-332 Gdynia, Poland.

E-mail: bilbo@mir.gdynia.pl


Redfish Sebastes mentella samples were collected in 2004 and 2005 during commercial cruises to the Irminger Sea on board the Polish vessel M/T ‘Wiesbaden’. Ichthyological studies included length and weight measurements, sex, gonad maturity stages and age determinations. Meristic and morphometric measurements were performed on digital images of the redfish. Comparison of the pelagic redfish from the northeastern (depths deeper than 500 m) and southwestern (depths shallower than 500 m) fishing grounds of the Irminger Sea indicates a number of differences including spatial and vertical distribution, ambient temperature, length and age composition. Moreover, 12 morphometric and 4 meristic characters differed significantly between fish samples from these two areas. Results of Cluster Analysis showed the clear grouping of samples into that of the ‘oceanic’ component (depth 300–450 m) and the ‘deep sea’ component (depth 550–800 m). These results were confirmed by Principal Component Analysis, which revealed the separation of samples into two catch depth groups. The share of fish allocated by Discriminant Analysis into the pelagic ‘deep sea’ component in the northeastern area was nearly 92%, while the ‘oceanic’ component was dominant in the southwestern area and comprised more than 88% of the fish. Cluster and Principal Component analyses suggest that the ‘oceanic’ component is a more homogeneous group than the ‘deep sea’ component. These results support the management units recently established by ICES.