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Integrated approach to the biological basis of age estimation in commercially important fish species

Our objective is to develop a fuller understanding of the environmental influences
on otolith growth, leading to a new protocol for estimating fish age. Focusing
primarly in gadiform otoliths, we will use known-age material to develp artificial
neural Our objective is to develop a fuller understanding of the environmental influences on otolith growth, leading to a new protocol for estimating fish age. Focusing primarily on
gadiform otoliths, we will use known-age material to develop artificial neural network
models of age. Otolith growth models will be integrated with results from new laboratory
and field investigations to improve the objective basis for interpreting seasonal and nonseasonal growth structures. We will work on hake, cod, haddock and whiting, representing a large proportion of the European fisheries in both value and volume. As such, this project will improve the confidence and reliability of the scientific data used to underpin management of sustainable fisheries.

Objectives
Our objective is to integrate modelling, and laboratory and field observations to provide an objective basis for interpreting the macrostructures of otoliths used for the estimation of fish age. We will take a multidisciplinary approach, including mathematical modelling, geochemical analysis of oxygen isotope ratios, experimentation and collection of biological and environmental data, to develop generic models of otolith formation. We will establish a new age estimation protocol, and enable training through a website and DVD accessible by fisheries laboratories and fishermen's organisations.

Results
We expect to complete and deliver our primary model by the end of the first year. Field
observations and laboratory experiments will deliver data for model refinement throughout the first two years of the project. The final year will be dedicated to integrating the new data to refine the model, testing the predictions with artificial neural networks, and delivering an accessible new protocol for fish age estimation. We expect our results to enable more precise and accurate fish age data.

Classified in FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Scientist responsible for the project

Professor JOAQUIN TINTORE
MIGUEL MARQUEZ 21
07190 ESPORLES
Spain - ES

Phone: +34 971611716
Fax: +34 971611761
E-mail: imedeadir@uib.es

References

Project ID QLRT-2001-01610
Organisation CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENT═FICAS
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 November 2002
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 3 423 453 €
Total EC contribution   1 000 000 €
Status Completed

The partners

  • SCOTTISH MINISTERES ACTING THROUGH FISHERIES RESEARCH SERVICES, MARINE LABORATORY, United Kingdom (The) - GB
  • DANISH INSTITUTE FOR FISHERIES RESEARCH, Denmark - DK
    jd@dfu.min.dk
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