YOYSYour Own Youth Site
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We assumed that bocaccio 20 cm or less were YOY, in accordance with growth studies of bocaccio.
Using the data from these surveys, we computed the densities (number of fish per m2) of YOY bocaccio at the midwater horizontal beams, bottom (when surveyed), and shell mounds (when surveyed) of each platform.
First, we conducted the platform surveys about two meters from the platform and our belt transects count only those YOY bocaccio within two meters of the submersible.
We also estimated the level of recruitment of YOY bocaccio in 2003 to natural reefs using data from a variety of sources.
YOY bocaccio were observed at seven of the eight platforms we surveyed.
Using the model STATC (details of the model are given in MacCalll), which is the current basis for fishery management under the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, we determined that the 433,682 YOY bocaccio living around these platforms constitute about 20% of the average yearly value, and 40% of the median value for the entire range of the species (based on YOY estimated abundances between 1990 and 2003).
By comparison with most of the platforms we surveyed, there was low or no YOY bocaccio recruitment to natural reefs in southern and parts of central California during 2003 (Fig.
According to our estimates, the YOY bocaccio living around seven platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel were important to the regional bocaccio population, and it appears that a substantial portion of the YOY bocaccio recruitment that occurred in the Santa Barbara Channel during 2003 took place at the surveyed platforms.
What appears to be a unique feature of the midwaters of many California platforms (compared to both natural reefs and to Gulf of Mexico platforms) is that many may act as juvenile (particularly YOY) fish refuges.
Several lines of evidence demonstrate that YOY bocaccio recruit to platforms from the plankton and that the platforms do not attract previously settled fish from natural reefs.
What is the fate of YOY bocaccio that settle around platforms?
Mortality on platform YOY bocaccio from predation may be relatively low because of a relative scarcity of predators.