Novel Insights from Skip Spawning in Exploited Fishes Part 1

Developing predictive relationships between spawning stock biomass and future fish recruitment has been an important area of research in fisheries management.  However, many exploited fishes exhibit poor stock-recruitment relationships, which can make harvest estimations and conservation strategies difficult.   One factor that may be contributing to these poor stock-recruitment relationships is that some sexually mature individuals in a population forgo spawning in a given reproductive season, or skip spawn.  In some instances, skip spawning can be quite pronounced, with up to 50% of sexual-mature fish skip spawning in a reproductive window.  Given the potential significance of skip spawning in influencing stock-recruitment relationships and ultimately harvest management, it is imperative that we gain a better understanding of the prevalence of skip spawning, and external and internal drivers that influence whether or not a fish will reproduce. In this symposium, we aim to provide an update on recent knowledge gained related to skip spawning in exploited fishes, and discuss implications for stock management. We will showcase studies that illustrate examples of skip spawning from fishes occurring in the Artic to the Tropics, as well as examples of skip spawning in species with different spawning strategies.
Jennifer Rehage
Ross Boucek
Heidi Golden and Linda A. Deegan
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