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Elemental analysis of otoliths of Japanese anchovy: trial to discriminate between Seto Inland Sea and Pacific stock

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The ability to discriminate local stocks of Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus was assessed based on data from four elements (K, Na, P, and Sr) using an electron probe micro analyzer (EPMA) and data from three elements (Ba, Mn, and Sr) using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) from the otoliths of 40 anchovy (23.6–47.0 mm body length). Anchovy were caught at three sites (Aki-nada, Hiuchi-nada, and Osaka Bay) in the Seto Inland Sea, and one site (Kuroshio extension) in the Pacific Ocean in 2002. In order to discriminate different spawning grounds, EPMA data from the core portion (from core to 30 μm in the core-posterior axis) were used. Results showed that it was difficult to discriminate between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific anchovy by EPMA data. Conversely, it was possible to discriminate between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific anchovy by ICP-MS data from bulk otoliths. Our results showed that Mn contents of otoliths using ICP-MS discriminate between spawning grounds most, and Ba and Sr discriminate less. The difference in elemental compositions in anchovy otoliths between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean might be reflected by cumulative experienced elemental composition of ambient sea water during life history between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific anchovy.
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Keywords: Engraulis japonicus; Pacific; Seto Inland Sea; otolith chemistry; stock discrimination

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea, Fisheries Research Agency, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0452, and 2: Fisheries Research Agency, Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-6115, Japan

Publication date: 01 February 2007

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