Bathymetric distribution and recruitment patterns of Phycis blennoides (Pisces: Gadidae) from the slope of the northwestern Mediterranean
E. Massutí, B. Morales-Nin and D. Lloris
The abundance and bathymetric distribution of Phycis blennoides has been analyzed from the result of 99 bottom trawl hauls carried out between a depth of 202 and 1293 m on the slope of the northwestern Mediterranean. P. blennoides appeared in 82% of the trawls carried out, throughout the whole bathymetric gradient explored, although the values of maximum abundance and biomass were obtained between a depth of 200 and 400 m. A progressive increase was observed for mean size with depth, due to the distinct bathymetric distribution of the small and large sized specimens. The following of length frequency distributions by cruise showed a recruitment to the bottom of small specimens (3-8 cm TL) in winter. The modal progression analysis of this juvenile phase showed a rapid growth, with a length increase around 1 cm per month.