Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research

First Advisor

Aaron T. Fisk

Second Advisor

Nigel E. Hussey

Keywords

Biological sciences, Reinhardtius hippoglossoides, Amblyraja hyperborea, Nunavut, Archival tags, Arctic, Arctic skate, Greenland halibut, Movement

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Given concerns about climate change and exploitation of Arctic marine resources, it is critical to elucidate the movements of deep-water Arctic marine species. This thesis analysed data from pop-off archival transmitting tags deployed on commercially exploited Greenland halibut ( Reinhardtius hippoglossoides ) and a bycatch species Arctic skate (Amblyraja hyperborea ) in Cumberland Sound, Nunavut tagged in August 2010-2011. Data collected for 40-300 days defined the preferred depth and temperature ranges for halibut (800-1300m, 1.5-2.5°C) and skates (500-1300m, 1.5-3.0°C) and suggested differences in activity levels and behaviour. Greenland halibut were more sedentary compared to more active skates and displayed high site fidelity with no evidence for diel vertical migration, though they undertook seasonal movements to shallow water. The profiles of the active, relatively fast-swimming skates indicated that they may switch between benthic and pelagic foraging modes. Both species overlapped in spatial habitat use. This information will contribute to regional species-specific fisheries management plans.

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