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Effects of condition on fecundity and total egg production of eastern Scotian Shelf haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus)

Publication: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
March 2003


A fecundity study of the eastern Scotian Shelf haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) stock during the 1997–1999 spawning seasons is reported. We developed a model that accounted for fecundity changes at the individual level and that could be used to estimate population egg production beyond the study period. Incorporating condition factors into the model (relative condition factor (Kn) and hepatosomatic index) accounted for a significant proportion of the residual variation. The model predicted that a change in Kn from 0.8 to 1.0 resulted in a twofold increase in fecundity at length. This variability was as great as that observed for fecundity–length relationships among stocks. Three time series (1979–2001) of total egg production (TEP) were constructed using different fecundity relationships: one with a condition effect, one based on length only, and one based on weight only. The magnitude of change in TEP resulting from the condition effect ranged from +30 to –20%. Condition effects during the first half of the time series resulted in an enhancement of TEP, whereas in the latter half, condition effects depressed TEP. This evaluation of TEP generated new insights into haddock stock dynamics but did not result in a dramatic improvement of the relationship between recruitment and stock reproductive potential.


Nous avons effectué une étude de la fécondité du stock d'aiglefins (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) de la région orientale du plateau néo-écossais durant les périodes de fraye de 1997–1999. Nous avons mis au point un modèle qui explique les changements individuels de fécondité et qui peut servir à estimer la production d'oeufs de la population au-delà de la période d'étude. L'incorporation de facteurs de condition (le facteur de condition relative (Kn) et l'indice hépatosomatique) permet d'expliquer une fraction significative de la variation résiduelle. Le modèle prédit qu'une variation de 0,8 à 1,0 de Kn entraîne un dédoublement de la fécondité aux différentes longueurs. Cette variabilité est aussi importante que celle qui existe dans les relations fécondité–longueur dans les stocks. Nous avons construit trois séries temporelles (1979–2001) de production totale des oeufs (TEP) à partir de différentes relations de la fécondité : l'une avec un effet de la condition, la seconde avec la longueur seule et la dernière avec la masse seule. L'amplitude du changement de TEP causé par l'effet de la condition s'étend de +30 % à –20 %. Les effets de la condition dans la première moitié de la série temporelle font augmenter TEP, alors qu'ils la font diminuer dans la seconde moitié. Cette évaluation de TEP fournit de nouvelles perspectives sur la dynamique du stock d'aiglefins, mais elle n'améliore pas de façon notable la relation entre le recrutement et le potentiel reproductif du stock.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

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cover image Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume 60Number 3March 2003
Pages: 321 - 332


Version of record online: 12 April 2011


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