Blocking of the upper layer flow in the Çanakkale (Dardanelles) Strait and its influence on fish catches

Murat Gündüz, Emin Özsoy                                                                                                                

Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, TURKEY
Institute of Marine Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Erdemli, TURKEY


Migrating fish are challenged by a series of physical barriers as they pass through the Turkish Straits System (TSS) such as the strong mixing zones and blocking of water transport in the Straits. The possible influence of the Çanakkale (Dardanelles) Strait blocking on fish migration is investigated. For this purpose, a numerical ocean model of the TSS has been implemented to predict transports of water at the Çanakkale (Dardanelles) Strait. Results are used to investigate the relationship between the blocking events and wind stress magnitude and direction in the North Aegean Sea. The analysis showed that upper layer blocking occurs when the wind stress magnitude exceeds a certain threshold in the 0-70° sector. Inter-annual time-series of upper layer blocking events deduced from wind stress for the 1979-2013 periods was used as proxy variable found to be highly correlated with the fish catch in the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea.

Keywords: Çanakkale Strait, blocking events, Aegean Sea, fish catch

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