Evaluating the effectiveness of teeth and dorsal fin spines for non-lethal age estimation of a tropical reef fish, coral trout Plectropomus leopardus

Hobbs, J.-P.A., Frisch, A.J., Mutz, S., and Ford, B.M. (2014) Evaluating the effectiveness of teeth and dorsal fin spines for non-lethal age estimation of a tropical reef fish, coral trout Plectropomus leopardus. Journal of Fish Biology, 84 (2). pp. 328-338.

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Abstract

This study investigated whether teeth and dorsal fin spines could be used as non-lethal methods of age estimation for a vulnerable and highly valued tropical fisheries species, coral trout Plectropomus leopardus. Age estimation of individuals from 2 to 9 years old revealed that dorsal spines represent an accurate ageing method (90% agreement with otoliths) that was more precise [average per cent error (APE) = 4·1, coefficient of variation (c.v.) = 5·8%] than otoliths (APE = 6·2, c.v. = 8·7%). Of the three methods for age estimation (otoliths, dorsal spines and teeth), spines were the most time and cost efficient. An aquarium-based study also found that removing a dorsal spine or tooth did not affect survivorship or growth of P. leopardus. No annuli were visible in teeth despite taking transverse and longitudinal sections throughout the tooth and trialling several different laboratory methods. Although teeth may not be suitable for estimating age of P. leopardus, dorsal spines appear to be an acceptably accurate, precise and efficient method for non-lethal ageing of individuals from 2 to 9 years old in this tropical species.

Item ID: 38241
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8649
Keywords: age determination; ageing; fisheries management; non-destructive; Serranidae; vulnerable species
Funders: Linnean Society of New South Wales (LS-NSW)
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 23:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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