Observations on the pelagic decapod Pasiphaea semispinosa in the Benguela upwelling ecosystem

20 Jan 2012

Information on vertical and horizontal distribution patterns, abundance and morphology of the decapod Pasiphaea semispinosa in the Benguela upwelling system is presented. P. semispinosa is the dominant pelagic decapod in the system, occurring between 19 and 32°S along the mid and inner shelf in concentrations of 10-100•m-2• Although it is more abundant during abated than during active upwelling in the northern Benguela, it would appear to be equally abundant during both upwelling scenarios in the southern Benguela. In the southern Benguela, reproductive females are present during winter and juveniles dominate during active upwelling, but juveniles appear to be more common during abated upwelling in the northern Benguela. The estimates of abundance of P. semispinosa presented in this study are subject to sampling biases attributable to their vertical migratory behaviour and net avoidance capabilities.