NAFO Sci. Coun. Studies, 19:59-70
Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer
B. P. 477, F-97302 Cayenne, Guyane Française
The late winter distributions of the American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides) in St. Pierre Bank (NAFO Subdiv. 3Ps) during the period 1978-90 were analyzed using catches-per-30-min-tow data obtained during the French groundfish surveys which have been conducted annually in February-March. Water temperatures from surface to bottom recorded at the end of each trawling operation were used along with temperature recordings from a standard hydrographic transect. Largest temperature fluctuations occurred in the two upper depth ranges (0-99 and 100-199 m) and were assessed to be due to the great influence of the Labrador Current. Generally, American plaice was well represented in the Halibut Channel. During cold winters (1982, 1985-87, 1989 and 1990), highest concentrations were observed on the southwest slope of Saint-Pierre Bank, and this was thought to be related to the movement of the cold Labrador Current.