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Genetic identification of Anisakis larvae in European hake from Atlantic and Mediterranean waters for stock recognition

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The occurrence of seven species of the larval parasitic nematode Anisakis, which can be used as a biological tag for hake Merluccius merluccius stocks throughout their geographical range, is reported. Hake were collected from 14 localities in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Anisakis larvae (n = 1950), which were recovered, were identified to species by means of genetic markers (allozymes). Within Anisakis type I, the larvae of A. pegreffii, A. simplex s.s., A. typica and A. ziphidarum were detected, while within Anisakis type II, A. physeteris, A. brevispiculata and Anisakis sp. were identified. There were significant differences in the relative proportions of the various Anisakis species identified in hake samples from the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, suggesting the existence of different stocks of M. merluccius in European waters.
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Keywords: Anisakis larvae; Merluccius merluccius; biological tags; fish stocks; genetic markers; parasite

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia, Promontorio de San Martin, s/n, 39004 Santander, Spain and 2: Department of Public Health Sciences, Section of Parasitology, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, P.le Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Rome, Italy, 3: Department of Ecology and Sustainable Economic Development (DECOS), Section of Ecology, Tuscia University, Via S. Giovanni Decollato, 01100 Viterbo, Italy

Publication date: 01 August 2004

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