When to count your eggs: Is fecundity in Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides W.) down-regulated?


Fecundity in several fish species is subjected to down-regulation by atresia so if fecundity is estimated many months before spawning, this will be an overestimation of the realised fecundity (actual number of eggs spawned). In order to get accurate measurements of fecundity it is important to have knowledge on when potential fecundity (estimated fecundity at time of sampling) closely resembles the realised fecundity. Down-regulation of fecundity for Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides W.) was assessed using fish caught off East Greenland in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The fish caught in 1998 and 1999 were in early and late stages of vitellogenesis, respectively of the same maturation cycle. The fish caught in 2000 were also in an early stage of vitellogenesis. Fecundity decreased by 43% between early and late vitellogenesis. Fecundity in 1999 appeared to be the second lowest recorded for Greenland halibut but it is believed to be due to developmental stage rather than low productivity. There was no difference in fecundity between 1997 and 1998. It is believed that differences in fecundity between years only become apparent in late maturation as size during oocyte recruitment has a very large influence on fecundity. Neither Fulton's condition nor hepatosomatic index had any significant influence on fecundity.

Fisheries Research