Factors Affecting Japanese Pond Smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis) Stock Trajectory in Lake Kasumigaura and Kitaura


The Japanese pond smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis) stock has been observed to fluctuate quite rigorously over the years with sustained periods of low catch in Lake Kasumigaura and Kitaura of the Ibaraki prefecture, Japan which would adversely affect the socioeconomic livelihood of the local fishermen and fisheries industry. This study was aimed at determining the factors affecting the stock fluctuation of the pond smelt through the different years in the two lakes. Through exploratory analysis it was found that the pond smelt had significant relationship with total phosphorus (TP) level in both lakes. The global mean land and ocean temperature index (LOTI) was also found to be indirectly related to the pond smelt stock in lake Kasumigaura and Kitaura at the latitude band of 24°N to 90°N (l). Both TP and LOTI had inverse relationship with pond smelt trajectory in both lakes. For both Lake Kasumigaura and Kitaura, TP for the individual lakes and LOTI (l) were used as independent variables using generalized linear model and response surface methods for modeling the stock dynamics of the pond smelt in the two lakes. Model selection was based on significant parameter estimates (p < 0.05), Akaikes Information Criterion and R2 values. Phosphorus loading is an indication of increasing anthropogenic activities in the surrounding area having negative impact on the pond smelt population. When management decisions are being made regarding pond smelt fishery and sustainability plans in the Ibaraki prefecture, the effects of TP and LOTI should be taken into account. Future research needs to be directed towards deeper understanding the mechanisms by which TP and LOTI affect pond smelt population in Lake Kasumigaura and Kitaura for more effective management.

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Singh, A. , Sunoh, N. , Niwa, S. , Tokoro, F. , Sakamoto, D. , Suzuki, N. and Sakuramoto, K. (2015) Factors Affecting Japanese Pond Smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis) Stock Trajectory in Lake Kasumigaura and Kitaura. Open Journal of Marine Science, 5, 210-225. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2015.52017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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