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Volume 43 - Number 2 - 2008

Spawning and early nursery areas of anchoveta Engraulis ringens Jenyns, 1842 in fjords of southern Chile

Claudia A. Bustos1, Mauricio F. Landaeta1 and Fernando Balbontín2


1CIEN Austral, Centro de Investigación en Nutrición, Tecnología de Alimentos y Sustentabilidad, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Puerto Montt, Av. Los Pinos s/n Balneario Pelluco, Casilla 1327 Puerto Montt, Región de Los Lagos, Chile
2 Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile. P.O. Box 5080, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile



The anchoveta, Engraulis ringens, has shown fluctuations of their abundance and distribution at interdecadal scale along the South Pacific. However, the recent spatial and temporal variability of the reproductive events are unknown in their southernmost geographic distribution. Therefore, the spatial and temporal variability in the spawning of E. ringens in the fjord region of southern Chile between 1995 and 2005 was analysed. The ichthyoplankton samples collected in the inland sea of southern Chile between 42ºS and 47ºS during 1995-2005 with Bongo nets showed an increase in the mean abundance of anchoveta eggs, varying from mean values of 38 eggs per 10 m2 during October 1995 to >14,000 eggs per 10 m2 during November 2005. Moreover, comparing our data with previously published information on anchoveta egg size along Chile (Llanos-Rivera & Castro 2004), the eggs collected during November 2005 in the inland sea were larger, wider and with higher volume than eggs collected from northern and central Chile. In the inland sea during November 2005, the anchoveta spawning was located mainly inside deep fjords (Comau and Reloncavi fjords); in such deep fjords abundance of both, eggs and preflexion larvae (i.e., <9 mm) were higher (>5,000 eggs per 10 m2; up to 2,178 larvae per 10 m2, respectively) than at shallow waters of Chiloe Island (<100 eggs per 10 m2; up to 65 larvae per 10 m2). Additionally, postflexion larvae (i.e., >9 mm larval length) were collected exclusively in the fjord region (10–505 larvae per 10 m2). The Brunt-Väisälä frequency (N2) showed positively significant correlations with anchoveta eggs and larvae abundance, meaning that higher abundance of both eggs and larvae were collected in areas with more stable water columns. This stability may induce higher survival rates of early life stages of anchoveta and may be related with the recent increasing in the landings of other small pelagic fishes such as the Falkland sprat (Sprattus fuegensis)


Key words: Ichthyoplankton, stratification, inland sea




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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