Wind forcing and fate of Sardinella aurita eggs and larvae in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea)
M. Torri1,4, R. Corrado2, F. Falcini3, A. Cuttitta1, L. Palatella2, G. Lacorata2, B. Patti3, M. Arculeo4, S. Mazzola1, and R. Santoleri31Istituto per l'Ambiente Marino Costiero, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Capo Granitola (TP), Italy 2Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Lecce, Italy 3Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome, Italy 4Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche, Chimiche e Farmaceutiche (STEB-ICEF), Università di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Received: 30 Jul 2015 – Accepted for review: 24 Aug 2015 – Discussion started: 09 Sep 2015
Abstract. Multidisciplinary studies are recently seeking to define diagnostic tools for fishery sustainability by coupling ichthyoplanktonic datasets, physical and bio-geochemical oceanographic measurements, and ocean modelling. The main goal of these efforts is the understanding of those processes that control fate and dispersion of fish larvae and eggs and thus tune the inter-annual variability of biomass of fish species. We here analyzed eggs and larvae distribution and biological features of Sardinella aurita in the northeast sector of the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea) collected during the 2010 and 2011 summer cruises. We make use of satellite sea surface temperature, wind, and chlorophyll data to recognize the main oceanographic patterns that mark eggs and larvae transport processes and we pair these data with Lagrangian runs. To provide a physical explanation of the transport processes that we observe, we hire a potential vorticity (PV) model that takes into account the role of wind stress in generating those cold filaments responsible for the offshore delivery of eggs and larvae. Our results show that the strong offshore transport towards Malta occurring in 2010 is related to a persistent wind forcing along the southern Sicilian coast that generated an observable cold filament. Such a pattern is not found in the 2011 analysis, which indeed shows a more favorable condition for sardinella larvae recruiting with a weak offshore transport. Our results want to add some insights regarding operational oceanography for sustainable fishery.
Torri, M., Corrado, R., Falcini, F., Cuttitta, A., Palatella, L., Lacorata, G., Patti, B., Arculeo, M., Mazzola, S., and Santoleri, R.: Wind forcing and fate of Sardinella aurita eggs and larvae in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea), Ocean Sci. Discuss., 12, 2097-2121, doi:10.5194/osd-12-2097-2015, 2015.