Movements of female lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) around Iceland


Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) migrate from their offshore feeding areas to the 10 coastal areas of Iceland during March and April where they remain for several months before 11 spawning. Their movements during this time are poorly documented. Using the results of an 12 extensive tag-recapture study (the largest documented) which took place between 2008 and 13 2014, the movement of female lumpfish around Iceland was investigated and the implications 14 for fisheries management were considered. Of 9710 female fish tagged, 878 were recaptured 15 and 82 of these were recaptured after more than 250 days at liberty (DAL). There was a 16 negative relationship between length at tagging and recapture rate indicating that between 17 2008 and 2014, the fishery was selecting for smaller fish. Lumpfish showed extensive 18 movements with fish tagged in coastal areas being recaptured up to 587 km from their tagging 19 location and were capable of swimming up to 49 km day-1. Fish were most frequently caught 20 in the area in which they were tagged, however, movement between areas was common. 21 There were indications of homing behaviour with 75% of the fish, which were recaptured 22 after 250 DAL, caught within 80 km of their tagging location. Fish which were tagged 23 offshore before the fishing season showed no clear pattern of where they would be recaptured. 24 These extensive movements and homing behaviour are discussed in context of the 25 management of the lumpfish fishery.

ICES Journal of Marine Science