Biology and Fisheries of Roughhead Grenadier in the Barents Sea
Andrey V. Dolgov, Konstantin V. Drevetnyak, Konstantin M. Sokolov, Andrey A. Grekov, and Igor P. Shestopal
Abstract.—Based on data from research and commercial catches collected by the Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO, Murmansk, Russia) in 1995–2005, the distribution, habitat conditions, size and sex parameters, and feeding of the roughhead grenadier, Macrourus berglax, in the Barents Sea were studied. This species occurs along the continental slope mainly at depths greater than 400 m, water temperatures between 0.5–3.5°C, and salinity more than 35 ‰. Specimens from 31–51 cm and 46–61 cm TL for males and females, respectively, were the most abundant in research trawl catches. Larger fish dominated in commercial catches, 46–65 cm in trawl fisheries and 51–60 cm on longline fisheries. The sex ratio was equal in research trawl catches; however, females dominated in commercial catches. Polychaetes, echinoderms, crustaceans and fish dominated the diet of this species. In the Barents Sea the species is taken only as bycatch, averaging scarcely over 2 % of the total. The total annual Russian catch of roughhead grenadier was usually less than 40 tons during the period of 1996–2004.