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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

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Maximum longevity: 10 years (wild) Observations: Animals commonly die after first spawning (Patnaik et al. 1994).
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Diagnostic Description

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Adipose with long base, about 1.5 times as long as the orbit or longer, outer margin only slightly curved (Ref. 6885). Olive green on dorsal surface, merging into silvery on sides and ventral surface (Ref. 6885).
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Cristina V. Garilao
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Life Cycle

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Reproductive strategy: synchronous ovarian organization, determinate fecundity (Ref. 51846). Experimental testing suggests facultative semelparity, with offshore-spawning capelin being absolute semelparous (death of both genders) and beach-spawning capelin being iteroparous irrespective of sex (Ref. 92136). Also Ref. 92150.
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Susan M. Luna
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Migration

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Anadromous. Fish that ascend rivers to spawn, as salmon and hilsa do. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Morphology

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Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 - 14; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 16 - 23; Vertebrae: 62 - 73
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Cristina V. Garilao
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Trophic Strategy

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Oceanic species found in schools (Ref. 2850). Nerito-pelagic (Ref. 58426). Feeds on planktonic crustaceans, copepods (especially Calanus (Ref. 5951)), euphausiids, amphipods, marine worms, and small fishes (Ref. 6885, 35388). Fish examined were non-spawning adults (Ref. 6885). It is preyed upon by other fishes, birds and marine mammals; Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) as their chief predator. Parasites of the species include Eubothrium parvum (cestode), Anisakis sp. And Contracaecum sp. (nematodes) and Glugea sp. (protozoan) (Ref. 5951).
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Pascualita Sa-a
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Biology

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Oceanic species found in schools (Ref. 2850). Nerito-pelagic (Ref. 58426); however, reported at 1086 m Davis Strait to southern Baffin Bay (Ref. 120413). Adults feed on planktonic crustaceans, copepods, euphausiids, amphipods, marine worms, and small fishes (Ref. 6885, 35388). Mature individuals move inshore in large schools to spawn (Ref. 2850). In the spring large spawning shoals migrate toward the coasts, males usually arrive first. Often entering brackish and freshwater (Ref. 37812). Semelparous (Ref. 51846). Produces 6,000-12,000 adhesive eggs. Females are valued for their roe, males are utilized as fishmeal. Marketed canned and frozen; eaten fried and dried (Ref. 9988). Possibly to 725 m depth (Ref. 6793).
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Importance

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fisheries: highly commercial; price category: low; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species
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Capelin

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The capelin or caplin (Mallotus villosus) is a small forage fish of the smelt family found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Arctic oceans.[1] In summer, it grazes on dense swarms of plankton at the edge of the ice shelf. Larger capelin also eat a great deal of krill and other crustaceans. Among others, whales, seals, Atlantic cod, Atlantic mackerel, squid, and seabirds prey on capelin, in particular during the spawning season while the capelin migrate south. Capelin spawn on sand and gravel bottoms or sandy beaches at the age of two to six years. When spawning on beaches, capelin have an extremely high post-spawning mortality rate which, for males, is close to 100%. Males reach 20 cm (8 in) in length, while females are up to 25.2 cm (10 in) long.[1] They are olive-colored dorsally, shading to silver on sides. Males have a translucent ridge on both sides of their bodies. The ventral aspects of the males iridesce reddish at the time of spawn.

Capelin migration

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Migration of Icelandic capelin
Green shade: Feeding area of adults
Blue shade: Distribution of juveniles
Green arrows: Feeding migrations
Blue arrows: Return migrations
Red shade and Red arrows: Spawning migrations, main spawning grounds and larval drift routes
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Atlantic puffin with capelin in its mouth

Capelin populations in the Barents Sea and around Iceland perform extensive seasonal migrations. Barents Sea capelin migrate during winter and early spring to the coast of northern Norway (Finnmark) and the Kola Peninsula (Russia) for spawning. During summer and autumn, capelin migrate north- and north-eastward for feeding.[2]

Icelandic capelin move inshore in large schools to spawn and migrate in spring and summer to feed in the plankton-rich oceanic area between Iceland, Greenland, and Jan Mayen. Capelin distribution and migration is linked with ocean currents and water masses. Around Iceland, maturing capelin usually undertake extensive northward feeding migrations in spring and summer, and the return migration takes place in September to November. The spawning migration starts from north of Iceland in December to January. In a paper published in 2009, researchers from Iceland recounted their application of an interacting particle model to the capelin stock around Iceland, successfully predicting the spawning migration route for 2008.[3]

Reproduction

As an r-selected species, capelin have a high reproductive potential and an intrinsic population growth rate.[4] They reproduce by spawning and their main spawning season occurs in spring but can extend into the summer. The majority of capelin are three or four years old when they spawn.[2] The males migrate directly to the shallow water of fjords, where spawning will take place, while the females remain in deeper water until they are completely mature. Once the females are mature, they migrate to the spawning grounds and spawn.[5] This process usually takes place at night.[2] In the North European Atlantic spawning typically occurs over sand or gravel at depths of 2 to 100 m (7–328 ft),[6] but in the North Pacific and waters off Newfoundland most spawn on beaches, jumping as far up land as possible, with some managing to strand themselves in the process.[4][7] Although some other fish species leave their eggs in locations that dry out (a few, such as plainfin midshipman, may even remain on land with the eggs during low tide) or on plants above the water (splash tetras), jumping onto land en masse to spawn is unique to the capelin, grunions, and grass puffer.[8][9] After the female capelins have spawned, they immediately leave the spawning grounds and can spawn again in the following years if they survive. The males do not leave the spawning grounds and potentially spawn more than once throughout the season.[5] Male capelin are considered to be semelparous because they die soon after the spawning season is over.[2]

Fisheries

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Global capture of capelin in tonnes reported by the FAO, 1950–2010[10]

Capelin is an important forage fish, and is essential as the key food of the Atlantic cod. The northeast Atlantic cod and capelin fisheries, therefore, are managed by a multispecies approach developed by the main resource owners Norway and Russia.

In some years with large quantities of Atlantic herring in the Barents Sea, capelin seem to be heavily affected. Probably both food competition and herring feeding on capelin larvae lead to collapses in the capelin stock. In some years, though good recruitment of capelin despite a high herring biomass suggests that herring are only one factor influencing capelin dynamics.

In the provinces of Quebec (particularly in the Gaspé peninsula) and Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, it is a regular summertime practice for locals to go to the beach and scoop the capelin up in nets or whatever is available, as the capelin "roll in" in the millions each year at the end of May or in early June.[11]

Commercially, capelin is used for fish meal and oil industry products, but is also appreciated as food. The flesh is agreeable in flavor, resembling herring. Capelin roe (masago) is considered a high-value product in Japan. It is also sometimes mixed with wasabi or green food coloring and wasabi flavor and sold as "wasabi caviar". Often, masago is commercialized as ebiko and used as a substitute for tobiko, flying fish roe,[12] owing to its similar appearance and taste —although the mouthfeel is different due to the individual eggs being smaller and less crunchy than tobiko.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2016). "Mallotus villosus" in FishBase. August 2016 version.
  2. ^ a b c d Gjøsæter, H. (1998). "The population biology and exploitation of capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the Barents Sea". Sarsia. 83 (6): 453–496. doi:10.1080/00364827.1998.10420445.
  3. ^ Barbaro, A.; Einarsson, B.; Birnir, B.; Sigurthsson, S.; Valdimarsson, H.; Palsson, O. K.; Sveinbjornsson, S.; Sigurthsson, T. (2009). "Modelling and simulations of the migration of pelagic fish". ICES Journal of Marine Science. 66 (5): 826. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsp067.
  4. ^ a b Rose, G.A. (2005). "Capelin (Mallotus villosus) distribution and climate: a sea 'canary' for marine ecosystem change". ICES Journal of Marine Science. 62 (7): 1524–1530. doi:10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.05.008.
  5. ^ a b Friis-Rødel, E. (2002). "A review of capelin (Mallotus villosus) in Greenland waters". ICES Journal of Marine Science. 59 (5): 890–896. doi:10.1006/jmsc.2002.1242.
  6. ^ Muus, B., J. G. Nielsen, P. Dahlstrom and B. Nystrom (1999). Sea Fish. pp. 98–99. ISBN 8790787005
  7. ^ Polar Life Canada: Capelin, Mallotus villosus. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  8. ^ Roland, T. (9 April 2010). Running with the Grunion. The Independent. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  9. ^ Martin, K.L.M. (2014). Beach-Spawning Fishes: Reproduction in an Endangered Ecosystem. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1482207972.
  10. ^ Mallotus villosus (Müller, 1776) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  11. ^ "They're Back: Capelin are Rolling at Middle Cove Beach". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  12. ^ "'Tobiko' & 'Ebiko'". Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2017.

References

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Capelin: Brief Summary

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The capelin or caplin (Mallotus villosus) is a small forage fish of the smelt family found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Arctic oceans. In summer, it grazes on dense swarms of plankton at the edge of the ice shelf. Larger capelin also eat a great deal of krill and other crustaceans. Among others, whales, seals, Atlantic cod, Atlantic mackerel, squid, and seabirds prey on capelin, in particular during the spawning season while the capelin migrate south. Capelin spawn on sand and gravel bottoms or sandy beaches at the age of two to six years. When spawning on beaches, capelin have an extremely high post-spawning mortality rate which, for males, is close to 100%. Males reach 20 cm (8 in) in length, while females are up to 25.2 cm (10 in) long. They are olive-colored dorsally, shading to silver on sides. Males have a translucent ridge on both sides of their bodies. The ventral aspects of the males iridesce reddish at the time of spawn.

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Diet

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Feeds on crustaceans, copepods, euphausians, amphipods and small fishes
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Distribution

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Hudson Bay to Gulf of Maine
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Habitat

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Found in cold, deep waters, an oceanic species which moves instream to spawn.
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Habitat

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nektonic
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Kennedy, Mary [email]
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