Mesoscale Eddies and Yellowfin Tuna Catches in the Western Arabian Sea

Sergey A. Piontkovski, Khalid A. Al-Hashmi


Daily maps of sea surface heights retrieved with 4-km spatial resolution from the MODIS-Aqua scanner and obtained over 13 years of remote sensing (from 2002 to 2015) were used to quantify monthly variations of 1108 cyclonic and 1090 anti-cyclonic eddies. The seasonal cycle of eddy occurrence has demonstrated two peaks, both corresponding to the spring and fall Inter-monsoon seasons. The amount of eddies observed during Inter-monsoon seasons was by ~ 30% higher than those of the South-west (winter) and North-east (summer) monsoons. Seasonal cycles of eddy occurrence were compared to Yellowfin Tuna landings. Two peaks of landings corresponding to April and October (which are cores of the spring and fall Inter-monsoon seasons) were observed. A positive linear correlation between the total number of cyclonic plus anti-cyclonic eddies and Yellowfin Tuna landings was statistically significant. Also, it holds for the cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies analyzed separately. Results of the Principal Component Analysis incorporating 12 environmental parameters (including wind speed, sea surface temperature, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, chlorophyll-a, sardine catches, and key indices of atmospheric anomalies) demonstrated that mesoscale eddies might be treated as ecologically important regional phenomena affecting seasonal variations of Yellowfin Tuna landings over the Omani shelf.


Arabian Sea; Mesoscale Eddies; Yellowfin Tuna


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