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      Spatial variability of Spanish sardine ( Sardinella aurita) abundance as related to the upwelling cycle off the southeastern Caribbean Sea

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          Abstract

          The Sardinella aurita fishery off northeastern Venezuela, region of seasonal wind-driven coastal-upwelling, accounts for 90% of the Caribbean Sea small pelagic catch. This law-protected artisanal fishery takes place up to ~10 km offshore. The spatial distribution, number of schools, and biomass of S. aurita were studied using eight hydro-acoustic surveys (1995–1998). The study included the analysis of satellite-derived sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a. Surveys were grouped by strong, weak, and transitional upwelling seasons. Relationships between these observations were analyzed using Generalized Additive Models. Results show that during the primary upwelling season (January-May) sardines were widely distributed in upwelling plumes that extended up to 70 km offshore. In the other hand, during the weak upwelling season (September-October) higher sardine densities were found within 10 Km off the coastal upwelling foci. The number of small pelagic schools was directly correlated with small pelagic densities; however, regardless of the season, higher numbers of small pelagic schools were always closer to the shoreline, especially during warm conditions. These two behaviors increase the availability and catchability of sardines for the artisanal fishery during the warm season, regardless of the total stock size. Using this evidence, we pose the hypothesis that the collapse of the regional S. aurita fishery in 2005 was due to a combination of stressful habitat conditions sustained since 2004. These included bottom-up factors due to food scarcity caused by weak upwelling, combined with top-down stress due to overfishing, as sardines accumulated in narrow diminished upwelling plumes located close to the coast. The increased catchability within easily accessible upwelling foci led to the demise of this biological resource, which as of 2014 had not yet recovered. Environmental conditions affecting the sardine habitat needs to be taken into account for the management of this stock. For example, during years with weak upwelling, special measures should be taken during the warm season on the second half of the year to avoid further pressure on the stock.

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          Most cited references 66

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          Generalized linear and generalized additive models in studies of species distributions: setting the scene

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            Model choice in time series studies of air pollution and mortality

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              Generalized Additive Models:: An Introduction with R.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SoftwareRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: SoftwareRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: ResourcesRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: ResourcesRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                27 June 2017
                2017
                : 12
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States of America
                [2 ]Instituto Oceanográfico de Venezuela, Universidad de Oriente, Cumaná, Estado Sucre, Venezuela
                [3 ]The Nature Conservancy, Caracas, Distrito Capital, Venezuela
                [4 ]Estación de Investigaciones Marinas, Fundación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales, Punta de Piedras, Estado Nueva Esparta, Venezuela
                Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GREECE
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                ‡ These authors also contributed equally to this work.

                Article
                PONE-D-17-05570
                10.1371/journal.pone.0179984
                5487047
                28654685
                © 2017 Rueda-Roa et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 11, Tables: 1, Pages: 25
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000001, National Science Foundation;
                Award ID: OCE-0752139, OCE-9216626, OCE-9729284, OCE-9401537, OCE-9729697, OCE-9415790, OCE-9711318, OCE-0326268 and OCE 0963028
                Award Recipient : Frank Edgar Muller-Karger
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000104, National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
                Award ID: NAG5-6448 and NAS5-97128
                Award Recipient : Frank Edgar Muller-Karger
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100007708, Fondo Nacional de Ciencia Tecnología e Innovación;
                Award ID: Grant 2000001702 and 2011000353
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnológicas (CONICIT), Venezuela
                Award ID: Grant 96280221
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000104, National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
                Award ID: NNX14AP62A
                Award Recipient : Frank Edgar Muller-Karger
                This research was carried out under the CARIACO Time-Series program, funded by: the National Science Foundation (NSF, USA, Grants OCE-0752139, OCE-9216626, OCE-9729284, OCE-9401537, OCE-9729697, OCE-9415790, OCE-9711318, OCE-0326268 and OCE-0963028), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, USA, Grants NAG5-6448 and NAS5-97128), the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnológicas (CONICIT, VENEZUELA, Grant 96280221), the Fondo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (FONACIT, Venezuela, Grant 2000001702 and 2011000353), and LOCTI (Grant CON-EDIMAR 23914). Acoustic surveys were funded by the Regional Technical Cooperation Fishing Programme VECEP (UE-VECEP ALA 92/43) between the European Union and Venezuela. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Physical Sciences
                Physics
                Acoustics
                People and places
                Geographical locations
                North America
                Caribbean
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Marine Biology
                Fisheries Science
                Earth Sciences
                Marine and Aquatic Sciences
                Marine Biology
                Fisheries Science
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Agriculture
                Fisheries
                People and places
                Geographical locations
                South America
                Venezuela
                Earth Sciences
                Seasons
                Earth Sciences
                Atmospheric Science
                Climatology
                Physical Sciences
                Materials Science
                Material Properties
                Surface Properties
                Surface Temperature
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the paper.

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