A decade of monitoring Atlantic cod Gadus morhua spawning aggregations in Massachusetts Bay using passive acoustics
Caiger, Paul E.
Dean, Micah J.
DeAngelis, Annamaria I.
Rice, Aaron N.
Stanley, Jenni A.
Zemeckis, Douglas R.
Van Parijs, Sofie M.
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KeywordAtlantic cod; Passive acoustic monitoring; Gadus morhua; Massachusetts Bay; Spawning aggregations; Fisheries management
Atlantic cod Gadus morhua populations in the northeast USA have failed to recover since major declines in the 1970s and 1990s. To rebuild these stocks, managers need reliable information on spawning dynamics in order to design and implement control measures; discovering cost-effective and non-invasive monitoring techniques is also favorable. Atlantic cod form dense, site-fidelic spawning aggregations during which they vocalize, permitting acoustic detection of their presence at such times. The objective of this study was to detect spawning activity of Atlantic cod using multiple fixed-station passive acoustic recorders to sample across Massachusetts Bay during the winter spawning period. A generalized linear modeling approach was used to investigate spatio-temporal trends of cod vocalizing over 10 consecutive winter spawning seasons (2007-2016), the longest such timeline of any passive acoustic monitoring of a fish species. The vocal activity of Atlantic cod was associated with diel, lunar, and seasonal cycles, with a higher probability of occurrence at night, during the full moon, and near the end of November. Following 2009 and 2010, there was a general decline in acoustic activity. Furthermore, the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank was identified as an important spawning location. This project demonstrated the utility of passive acoustic monitoring in determining the presence of an acoustically active fish species, and provides valuable data for informing the management of this commercially, culturally, and ecologically important species.
© The Author(s), 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Caiger, P. E., Dean, M. J., DeAngelis, A. I., Hatch, L. T., Rice, A. N., Stanley, J. A., Tholke, C., Zemeckis, D. R., & Van Parijs, S. M. A decade of monitoring Atlantic cod Gadus morhua spawning aggregations in Massachusetts Bay using passive acoustics. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 635, (2020): 89-103, doi:10.3354/meps13219.
Suggested CitationCaiger, P. E., Dean, M. J., DeAngelis, A. I., Hatch, L. T., Rice, A. N., Stanley, J. A., Tholke, C., Zemeckis, D. R., & Van Parijs, S. M. (2020). A decade of monitoring Atlantic cod Gadus morhua spawning aggregations in Massachusetts Bay using passive acoustics. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 635, 89-103.
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