Abundancia y distribucion de huevos y larvas de la merluza argentina (Merluccius hubbsi Marini, 1933) en un area de desove intensivo en el litoral norpatagonico.
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Argentine hake Merluccius hubbsi represents nowadays the main fishery resource of the Argentine Sea, in spite of the fact that the percentage of captures related to total fishery production has fallen down 30% in the last decade. The abundance and distribution of hake eggs and larvae in an intense spawning area in front of Isla Escondida (Chubut province), are analyzed. This phenomena was studied from a comparative-historical point of view allowing to apppreciate the evolution of a resource at present undergoing an overfishing pressure, capable of pushing it to collapse. Since 1973 maximum egg densities diminished and, if total egg production is considered a reliable index for recruitment prediction, no signs of overcoming stocks can be seen. On the other hand, there are records of a shifting eastwards of the 50m isobath in the major spawning area throughout the years, together with a shrinking of the spawning depth-ranges during 1986 and 1999. Even though with the analyzed data it was not possible to confirm the hypothesis that states a major incidence of spawning events during a particular time range, other techniques and sampling designs useful for future research, are discussed.