There is an urgent need to clarify how different stocks, or subpopulations of fish species, are vulnerable to fishing pressure and unfavorable ocean conditions because of the increasing demand on fisheries for human consumption. For marine fishes, the potential for high gene flow increases the difficulty in determining the number of subpopulations managed in a specific fishery. Although the use of molecular data has become a common method in the past 15 years to identify fish subpopulations, no single technique or suite of techniques has been established for fish stock structure studies. We review the use of fish morphometrics, artificial tags, fish genetics, parasite genetics, and parasites as biological tags to identify subpopulations of marine fishes with a focus on the Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) fishery off the west coast of North America. We suggest an integration of fish- and parasite-based techniques for future stock structure studies, particularly for pelagic fish species whose stock structure can be elusive. An integration of techniques may also resolve fish stock structure over small geographic areas by increasing the number of spatial and temporal scales studied simultaneously leading to methods for successful management of marine fish species.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 29, 2011
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