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Title: Climate effects on historic bluefin tuna captures in the Gibraltar strait and western Mediterranean
Authors: Ganzedo, Unai
Polanco-Martínez, Josué M.
Caballero-Alfonso, Ángela M.
Faria, Sérgio H.
Li, Jianke
Castro Hernández, José Juan 
UNESCO Clasification: 240119 Zoología marina
Keywords: Historical bluefin tuna captures
Little Ice Age
Paleoclimate reconstructions
Sea surface temperature
Total solar irradiance
Issue Date: 2016
Journal: Journal of Marine Systems 
Abstract: Historical capture records of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus; BFT hereafter) from the Gibraltar Strait and Western Mediterranean show pronounced short- and long-term fluctuations. Some of these fluctuations are believed to be associated with biological and ecological process, as well as distinct climate factors. For the period of study (1700-1936) of this work, we found a long-term increasing trend in the BFT captures and in the climate variables. After applying a statistical time series analysis of relevant climate variables and long-term tuna capture records, it is highlighted the role played by sea-surface temperature (SST) on bluefin population variations. The most relevant result of this study is the strong correlation found between the total solar irradiance (TSI) - an external component of the climate system - and bluefin captures. The solar irradiance could have affected storminess during the period under study, mainly during the time interval 1700-1810. We suggest physico-biological mechanisms that explain the BFT catch fluctuations in two consecutive time intervals. In the first period, from 1700 to 1810, this mechanism could be high storm and wind activity, which would have made the BFT fisheries activities more difficult by reducing their efficacy. In contrast, during the interval from 1810 to 1907, the effects of wind and storms could be on spawning behaviour and larval ecology, and hence on year class strength, rather than on fish or fisherman's behaviour. These findings open up a range of new lines of enquiry that are relevant for both, fisheries and climate change research.
ISSN: 0924-7963
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2016.02.002
Source: Journal of Marine Systems [ISSN 0924-7963], v. 158, p. 84-92
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