Date of Award
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research
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Inaccessibility and harsh conditions of the Arctic frequently limit research on local fish and ecosystems. Cumberland Sound on southern Baffin Island houses a remote, winter fishery for Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) and presented a unique site for evaluating Arctic fish stock trends and feeding behavior from limited data. Relative abundance through time, 1987-2003, of the Greenland halibut stock was modeled hierarchically from catch per unit effort (CPUE) data with multiple fixed effects and location and fisherman as random effects. Month and the North Atlantic Oscillation were important predictors of CPUE. Additionally, fisherman behavior influenced CPUE, breaking the assumption that CPUE is proportionate to fish abundance. A second study using stable isotopes found pelagic feeding of the Greenland halibut and a dietary preference for capelin, consistent with studies in other systems. The combination of these studies is the first incorporation of fishery and ecological information to assess Cumberland Sound Greenland halibut.
Dennard, Susan T., "The Greenland halibut of Cumberland Sound: Trends in catch rates and preferences in diet" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8191.