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Sexual identification and development in the swordfish - improved determination tools for more efficient stock assessment and implementation of control measures

Contract nr: QLK5-CT-1999-01567
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date: 01-03-2000
Duration: 24 months
Total cost: 385,422 EUR
EC Contribution: 344,465 EUR
Scientific Officer: Dominique LEVIEIL
Research topic: 5.1.2. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

Abstract:
In the economically important Mediterranean swordfish fishery the determination of sex and gonadal maturity at capture are important requisites for regulation. These parameters cannot always be resolved due to "gutting at sea", lack of external sexual dimorphism or high market muscle value precluding gutting. The objective of this study is to develop a more efficient, cost-effective assessment method for sex and gonadal maturity using an ELISA mediated muscle biopsy assay to measure the levels of sex hormones and the lipoprotein vitellogenin from swordfish muscle samples. These substances can be used as indicators of sex and spawning state of the fish and correlated with gonadal development. The new muscle biopsy method will be relevant for other marine species providing a valuable management tool to oversee conservation measures in the market place in terms of species, sex and gondal maturity from single muscle samples.

Objectives:
a) Identification and isolation of sex hormones and vitellogenin in the plasma and muscle biopsy samples taken from the swordfish.
b) Development of an ELISA-mediated standard test tools to determine the concentrations of the above substances in both plasma and muscle.
c) Verification of the correlation between hormone and vitellogenin levels in both plasma and muscle biopsy samples with biometric data on gonadal indices and sex ratio.
d)Testing and evaluation of muscle biopsy in both field (double blind) and market conditions.
e) Provision of a standard muscle biopsy method for fisheries stock assessment of sex ratio and gonadal maturity for marine fisheries of the Mediterranean.

 


Coordinator
Christopher Robert BRIDGES
Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf Institut für Zoophysiologie
Düsseldorf
GERMANY
Tel.: +49 2118114991
Fax: +49 2118114991
E-mail: bridges@uni-duesseldorf.de


Partners
  D. KIME
University of Sheffield Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
Sheffield
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1142224316
Fax: +44 1142220002
E-mail: d.kime@sheffield.ac.uk
  Maria APOSTOLOPOULOU
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Department of Zoology
Athens
GREECE
Tel.: +30 17233634
Fax: +30 17274604
E-mail: yannmega@biology.db.uoa.gr
  Jose Miguel DE LA SERNA
Instituto Español de Oceanografía
Malaga
SPAIN
Tel.: +34 952472261
Fax: +34 952463808
E-mail: delaserna@ma.ieo.es
  G. DE METRIO
University of Bari Department of Animal Production
Bari
ITALY
Tel.: +390 804670604
Fax: +390 804670283
E-mail: G.Demetrio@tno.it