NAFO Sci. Coun. Studies, 12:7-12
Greenland Fisheries Research Institute
Tagensvej 135, Copenhagen N, DK-2200, Denmark
Distribution and abundance of young Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) at West Greenland are described on the basis of stratified-random bottom-trawl surveys in 1982-84 and research trawling for shrimp during 1968-87. Greenland halibut abundance was low in the offshore areas (south of 67° N) covered by the bottom-trawl surveys and shrimp-trawl operations, but the catch rates tended to increase from south to north. The greatest abundance was found in the offshore north of Store Hellefiske Bank and in Disko Bay (north of 68° N). However, high abundance of young Greenland halibut was found in shrimp-trawl catches in some coastal areas, especially near Holsteinsborg and south of Godthaab, both of which are quite distant from the main areas of distribution in the north. Length distributions by yearly quarter in the Godthaab area indicated the first appearance of 0-group Greenland halibut in the fourth quarter. While young Greenland halibut in the northern areas may originate from the assumed spawning area in Davis Strait, those in the southern coastal waters of West Greenland are postulated to originate from the Iceland-Greenland area, being transported to southern West Greenland by the East Greenland Current.