Revista de biología marina y oceanografía
versión On-line ISSN 0718-1957
MACCHI, Gustavo J; PAJARO, Marcelo y DATO, Claudia. Spatial variations of the Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi (Marini, 1933)) spawning shoals in the Patagonian area during a reproductive season. Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. [online]. 2007, vol.42, n.3, pp. 345-356. ISSN 0718-1957. doi: 10.4067/S0718-19572007000300013.
Displacements of Argentine hake Merluccius hubbsi shoals in the spawning area of Patagonia before and during a reproductive season were analyzed. In particular, monthly changes in fish density, sex composition, size structure and spawning location were described for this stock. During October-November, hake shoals moved from deeper waters to the coast at about 44°S, where spawning took place in December. During January the main reproductive aggregations stayed near the coast (50 m depth) but displaced to the southern area (45°S); in February spawning activity diminished and spent females began to return to deeper waters. In general, this process was first completed by young spawners (35-45 cm TL), which have a breeding season shorter than the old females. We observed that males arrived at the spawning area first and remained there for a longer period than females. During the reproductive period skewed sex ratios in different sampling sites were observed. These differences in sex composition were attributable to: 1) local segregation produced by the reproductive behavior of hake, in which males form groups with a single female, and 2) migration of spent females to deeper waters, which causes male-biased samplings in coastal areas
Palabras clave : Merlucciidae; southwest Atlantic Ocean; reproduction; migration.