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Research Document - 2011/022

Analyses of the capelin (Mallotus villosus) abundances from the multidisciplinary groundfish and shrimp surveys conducted in the Estuary and northern Gulf of St. Lawrence from 1990 to 2009

By F. Grégoire, H. Bourdages, and J.-F. Ouellet


Capelin (Mallotus villosus) is a regular catch in multidisciplinary groundfish and shrimp surveys in the Estuary and the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is caught in the entire area covered by these surveys and some tows are characterized by high abundances. Several species are also caught during these surveys. These include capelin's four main predators: cod (Gadus morhua), American Plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides), Greenland Halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) and redfish (Sebastes spp.). A multivariate approach applied to the abundances of these species aided in the discovery of certain existing relationships among them. For example, it has been shown that capelin were more associated with Greenland Halibut, American Plaice and redfish than with cod. It has also been shown that capelin represented one of the main species that characterized these surveys.

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