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A multidisciplinary approach using genetic markers and biological tags in horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) stock assessment and management

Contract nr: QLK5-CT-1999-01438
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date: 01-01-2000
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 1,765,185 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,319,644 EUR
Scientific Officer: Dominique LEVIEIL
Research topic: 5.1.2. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

Abstract:
The aim of this proposal is to assess the stock status of the horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus), which is an important target species for many north-east Atlantic and Mediterranean fisheries. The project will provide information currently lacking for an effective definition of horse mackerel stock boundaries, and will evaluate the status of the horse mackerel populations. The overall objective will be achieved integrating the results from several techniques such as genetic markers, other biological tags like morphometric studies, and the use of parasites, physical tagging and life history traits (growth, reproduction and distribution). The genetic stock assessment will be performed by means of five different genetic approaches comprising the analysis of allozymes, the mitochondiral DNA and the microsatellite DNA. The propose research will therefore set up an improved multi-disciplinary tool for fish stock identification and assessment, and an exhaustive knowledge of horse mackerel stock structure, in order to allow for the enhanced management of horse mackerel resources in European Union waters, in the short, medium and long term.

Objectives:
The overall objective of this proposal is the biological stock identification of the horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) throughout its distribution range, from north-eastern Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea. This goal will be achieved by applying different approaches to the same sample set.

The genetic stock assessment comprises:

1) the identification of horse mackerel stocks using different molecular markers;
2) the evaluation of the levels of the genetic variability; and
3) the estimation of gene flow between populations.

Other biological tags, morphometric studies and the use of parasites will search for intraspecific variations and for the interpretation of the infection levels in terms of host population biology. The evaluation of the viability of physical tagging on horse mackerel is the first step needed to apply it in natural populations for migration studies. Different population parameters related to growth reproduction and distribution will also be examined to identify management units. The final objective is to integrate all the results to define the stock structure that will allow for better management of horse mackerel in EU waters.

 


Coordinator
Pablo ABAUNZA
Instituto Espagñol de Oceanografia - Centro Oceanográfico de Santander
Santander
SPAIN
Tel.: +34 94 2291060
Fax: +34 942275072
E-mail: pablo.abaunza@st.ieo.es


Partners
  Carlos COSTA MONTEIRO
Instituto de Investigaçao das Pescas e do Mar
Lisboa
PORTUGAL
Tel.: +351 13027039
E-mail: c.monteir@ipimar.pt
  Niall GIBBONS
Marine Institute
Dublin
IRELAND
Tel.: +353 4780333
Fax: +353 4754089
E-mail: ngibbons@marine.ie
  Luigi BOSCO
Department of Environmental Sciences Tuscia Univer
Viterbo
ITALY
Tel.: +39 0761357123
Fax: +39 0761357179
E-mail: bosco@unitus.it
  Eleftherios ZOUROS
Institute of Marine Biology of Crete
Iraklion
GREECE
Tel.: +30 81242022
Fax: +30 81241882
E-mail: zouros@ibmc.gr
  Domingo DOCAMPO AMOEDO
Universidade de Vigo
Vigo
SPAIN
Tel.: +34 986813867
Fax: +34 986812140
E-mail: otri@uvigo.es
  Fred STEVENSON-ROBB
The University Court of the University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1224 272121
Fax: +44 1234 272319
E-mail: fstevenson-robb@admin.abdn.ac.uk
  Hans ERSTAD
Institute of Marine Research
Bergen
NORWAY
Tel.: +47 55238518
Fax: +47 55230531
E-mail: hans.erstad@imr.no
  José Manuel PINTO PAIXAO
Funjdaçao da Faculdade de ciencias da Universidade
Lisbon
PORTUGAL
Tel.: +351 17500032
Fax: +351 17500166
  Hans-Stephan JENKE
Bundesforschunganstalt für Fischerei
Hamburg
GERMANY
Tel.: +49 40 31908600
Fax: +49 40 38905263
E-mail: jenke.ifo@bfa-fisch.de