Ryan Martin

MSc Candidate

Ryan MartinBSc Hon. Biology, University of New Brunswick
Contact: Ryan.Martin@unb.ca

Research: "Examining stock structure and spawning ground turnover of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)" (co-supervised with Dr. Dave Methven & Dr. Gary Melvin)

Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) currently support the largest commercial fishery in Atlantic Canada and continuous research is required to maintain a sustainable fishery. Despite the vast amount of literature on the biology of herring, information on population structure and linkages is lacking. My research will examine the following:

First, I will examine population structure and linkages of the southwest Nova Scotia - Bay of Fundy herring populations and determine what proportions of specific spawning populations are intermixing during spawning (leakage) and non spawning seasons. In doing so, determining spawning site and population (stock) fidelity will be acquired.

Second, I will identify whether spawning wave aggregations occur on the German Bank spawning ground and how often they occur within a spawning season. Spawning herring reportedly arrive and aggregate on spawning grounds as waves and this phenomenon will be explored using biological attribute data.

Finally, determining spawning ground turnover, the amount of time a spawning aggregation remains on the spawning ground, will be achieved. Spawning ground turnover is based on a number of assumptions that have not been fully evaluated.

These assumptions need to be confirmed and new methods developed to improve turnover rates. Mark and recapture data will be examined in greater detail relative to the assumptions and then used to estimate annual turnover on two major spawning grounds (German Bank and Scots Bay).

Using mark and recapture data, information will be obtained on these issues and will allow for more accurate estimates of the overall stock biomass necessary for assigning annual catch quotas.