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Trace Element Analysis of Scales from Four Populations of Norwegian Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.) for Stock Identification Using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

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The pre-smolt stage of the scale of adult Norwegian Atlantic salmon from four populations, encompassing both farmed and wild hatchery stocks, has been analyzed by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-HR-ICP-MS). The purpose of this study was to test for differences in elemental composition between stocks of Atlantic salmon that have lived in separate fresh water locations until the smoltification and natural run out or transportation to the sea-cages. The populations studied were from fish farms located at Bremanger and Sørfold, a cultivated stock from Mossa, and one wild local stock from the river Gaula. The following elements were included in the analytical protocol: Li, Mg, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn, Sr, Ba, Pb, and U. Calcium was used as a natural internal standard. Classification of the analytical data is studied by multivariate statistical techniques such as principal component analysis (PCA). We have been able to delineate the population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) from Gaula and Mossa from the Bremanger and the Sørfold stock based on the ten elements analyzed. The Bremanger and Sørfold stocks were partially delineated. The differences in elemental composition in the scales, which makes the delineating of the four stocks possible, probably reflects geological differences in the bedrock at the four fresh water locations experienced by the salmon during the pre-smolt stage.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Geological Survey of Norway, Leiv Eiriksons vei 39, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway 2: National Centre for Veterinary Contract Research and Commercial Services, VESO Trondheim, Tungasletta 2, N-7485 Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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