Discrimination of Baltic herring populations with respect to Anisakis simplex larvae infection
Samples of herring Clupea harengus in the Baltic were collected during the spawning season in western, middle and eastern waters off the Polish coast. Two samples were taken per area, several morphometric characters were measured and some meristic characters (vertebrae and gill rakers) were counted. Infection with Anisakis simplex larvae, total length, age and maturity stage were recorded. Univariate and multivariate statistical tests were used to compare the samples, discriminant analysis was applied to separate herring populations and the fraction of herring populations in each area was estimated. The results obtained indicated that infected fish represented a mixed group of western and central Baltic herring. In the first samples collected from each area, the share of the western population decreased from 40% in the western to 18% in the middle and 13% in the eastern coasts. The share of western herring was higher in the second samples collected in the same area and decreased from 91% in the western coast to 14 and 32% in the middle and eastern ones, respectively.