Sustainable aquaculture and aquatic resources management

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Wiley Online Library : Journal of Fish Biology

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Identification and expression analysis of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase in humphead snapper Lutjanus sanguineus

Published on 29/3/2017
A tdt gene was identified successfully from humphead snapper Lutjanus sanguineus, which contained 1710 bp encoding a protein of 463 amino acids. Results of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) indicated that tdt mainly expressed in thymus and head kidney and the transcripts of tdt in these tissues were up-regulated significantly at 36 and 48 h after Vibrio harveyi infection. Meanwhile Tdt-producing cells were found in thymus and head kidney.

Sublethal effects of angling and release on golden perch Macquaria ambigua: implications for reproduction and fish health

Published on 28/3/2017
The present study tested the hypothesis of no delayed sublethal effects of mild angling and release on the feeding, growth, somatic condition and gonadal development of golden perch Macquaria ambigua during gametogenesis. Subsamples of adult M. ambigua (n = 17–21 of 207), originally captured from the wild and stocked into ten 0·1 ha earthen ponds, were angled and released during early and late gametogenesis. Wild samples that were concurrently collected throughout the experiment underwent rapid and synchronous gonadal development and many spawned. While no spawning occurred in the ponds, most M. ambigua underwent normal gonadal development to maturity, including the angled fish. Angled fish also fed, maintained condition and actually grew faster than non-angled captive controls. Although females that were angled during late gametogenesis more readily ingested and retained baited hooks, neither their subsequent condition nor gonadal development was significantly affected. The predominance of null results was attributed to the combined effects of the flexible reproductive strategy of M. ambigua, the benignness of mouth hooking and immediate release, and possible methodological issues arising from differential hooking success of more aggressive and resilient individuals. The findings support earlier catch-and-release research, but contrast with reports of acute reproductive effects following capture and handling for aquaculture broodstock. This discrepancy highlights the need for research to specifically address welfare questions relevant to recreational fisheries across various species and angling scenarios.

Application of DNA metabarcoding on faeces to identify European catfish Silurus glanis diet

Published on 27/3/2017
In this study, the results of conventional stomach-content analysis are compared with the recent DNA metabarcoding approach on faeces to identify fish species consumed by non-native European catfish Silurus glanis in the Garonne River (south-western France), with a special emphasis on anadromous prey. Fourteen prey species were identified in the stomach contents or faeces, including four anadromous fish species. Despite higher intestine than stomach emptiness, more species were identified through faecal analysis (11 of 14) than through stomach-content analysis (five of 14) suggesting that DNA metabarcoding on faeces is an efficient, non-intrusive technique to study the diet of predatory fishes.

Respirometry increases cortisol levels in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss: implications for measurements of metabolic rate

Published on 27/3/2017
This study aimed to assess the extent to which chasing, handling and confining Oncorhynchus mykiss to a small respirometer chamber during respirometric experiments is stressful and affects metabolic measurements. The study observed increased cortisol levels in animals tested using a chase protocol and subsequent intermittent-flow respirometry, suggesting that this procedural treatment may stress animals.

High olfactory sensitivity to conspecific intestinal fluid in the chameleon cichlid Australoheros facetus: could faeces signal dominance?

Published on 27/3/2017
The present study shows that the olfactory potency of intestinal and bile fluids taken from dominant male chameleon cichlids Australoheros facetus is greater than those from subordinate males. Thus, dominant status may be communicated by odorants released in the intestinal fluid and bile acids may contribute towards this.

Population genetic structure and comparative diversity of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu: congruent patterns from two genomes

Published on 21/3/2017
Genetic diversity and divergence patterns of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu spawning groups are analysed across its northern native range with mtDNA cytochrome b gene sequences and eight unlinked nuclear DNA microsatellite loci. Results reveal high levels of genetic variability and significant differences in allelic representation among populations (mtDNA: mean ± s.e., HD = 0·50 ± 0·06, mean ± s.e., θST = 0·41 ± 0·02 and microsatellites: mean ± s.e. HO = 0·46 ± 0·03, mean ± s.e. θST = 0·25 ± 0·01). The distributions of 28 variant mtDNA haplotypes, which differ by an average of 3·94 nucleotides (range = 1–8), denote divergent representation among geographic areas. Microsatellite data support nine primary population groups, whose high self-assignment probabilities likewise display marked divergence. Genetic patterns demonstrate: (1) high genetic diversity in both genomes, (2) significant divergence among populations, probably resulting from natal site homing and low lifetime migration, (3) support for three post-glacial refugia that variously contributed to the current northern populations, which remain evident today despite waterway connectivity and (4) a weak yet significant genetic isolation by geographic distance pattern, indicating that other processes affect the differences among populations, such as territoriality and site fidelity.

Zygoparity and sex steroid hormone profiles in bluemouth Helicolenus dactylopterus

Published on 21/3/2017
Two hundred and seven individuals (103 females and 104 males) of bluemouth Helicolenus dactylopterus (Scorpaeniformes, Sebastidae), a commercially important deep-water species with an unusual reproductive strategy, from the eastern Atlantic Ocean ranging from 13·9 to 37·5 cm total length (LT) were analysed from September 2011 to October 2012. The analysis included gonad maturity phases and blood-plasma levels of oestradiol-17β (E2), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) and 17,20β-dihydroxypregn-4-en-3-one (17,20β-P). Results confirmed the existence of an annual reproductive cycle with asynchrony between females and males and a spawning season from January to May. A pronounced peak in 17,20β-P in October for both sexes was associated with possible mating behaviour and recent copula. Levels of E2 increased preceding the elevation of the gonado-somatic index during ovarian growth and were lower during regression and regeneration. The frequency distribution of oocyte–embryonic stages and variation of hormone levels suggest the existence of daily rhythms. Fertilization was detected between 2000–0000 and 0800–1200 h and spawning took place throughout the day peaking between 2000 and 0000 h. The cyclic pattern of sex steroids and ovarian recruitment provides a new insight into the reproductive strategy of this species.

Reproductive biology of Haemulon plumierii in the south-western Atlantic Ocean's most extensive reefs: implications for fisheries management

Published on 21/3/2017
The reproductive biology of the white grunt Haemulon plumierii was studied from 360 individuals obtained from artisanal fisheries landings in the Abrolhos Bank, Brazil, between August 2010 and March 2012. The overall sex-ratio did not differ significantly from 1:1, although males predominated in larger size classes. β-Binomial modelling of historical sex-ratio data indicated that the catch rate of females has increased in recent years. Females reached maturity at a smaller total length (LT; 214 mm) than males (235 mm LT) and the LT at which 50% of all individuals are mature (L50) was 220 mm, corresponding to 41·5% of the maximum recorded LT. Variation in the gonado-somatic index and in the relative frequency of reproductive stages indicates that reproduction occurs year round, with increased activity during the austral spring and summer. Fecundity was not size dependent. The reproductive parameters provided here can support management measures focussed on seasonal closures during spawning peaks (September to November and February to March) and minimum sizes (>L50) for the capture of this important artisanal fisheries resource in Abrolhos, the region with the largest and most biodiverse coralline reefs in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Divergence in physiological factors affecting swimming performance between anadromous and resident populations of brook charr Salvelinus fontinalis

Published on 19/3/2017
In this study, an anadromous strain (L) and a freshwater-resident (R) strain of brook charr Salvelinus fontinalis as well as their reciprocal hybrids, were reared in a common environment and submitted to swimming tests combined with salinity challenges. The critical swimming speeds (Ucrit) of the different crosses were measured in both fresh (FW) and salt water (SW) and the variations in several physiological traits (osmotic, energetic and metabolic capacities) that are predicted to influence swimming performance were documented. Anadromous and resident fish reached the same Ucrit in both FW and SW, with Ucrit being 14% lower in SW compared with FW. The strains, however, seemed to use different underlying strategies: the anadromous strain relied on its streamlined body shape and higher osmoregulatory capacity, while the resident strain had greater citrate synthase (FW) and lactate dehydrogenase (FW, SW) capacity and either greater initial stores or more efficient use of liver (FW, SW) and muscle (FW) glycogen during exercise. Compared with R♀L♂ hybrids, L♀R♂ hybrids had a 20% lower swimming speed, which was associated with a 24% smaller cardio-somatic index and higher physiological costs. Thus swimming performance depends on cross direction (i.e. which parental line was used as dam or sire). The study thus suggests that divergent physiological factors between anadromous and resident S. fontinalis may result in similar swimming capacities that are adapted to their respective lifestyles.

Morphometry and microanatomy of the barbels of the common sawshark Pristiophorus cirratus (Pristiophoridae): implications for pristiophorid behaviour

Published on 17/3/2017
The internal anatomy of the barbels of the common sawshark Pristiophorus cirratus was examined with light microscopy to clarify their sensory role. No sensory structures such as taste buds (chemoreception), ampullae of Lorenzini (electroreception) or free neuromasts (lateral line mechanoreception) could be located in the barbels. The presence of bundles of nerve fibres, however, indicates a tactile function for the barbels. Conveyance of information regarding potentially damaging stimuli (nociception) and temperature (thermoception) cannot be excluded at this stage. It is hypothesized that the barbels are used by P. cirratus to locate prey in both the water column and on the substratum via wake detection and sensing changes in surface texture. The barbels may also be involved in the detection of water currents for rheotaxis. Regression analyses on P. cirratus morphometric data showed that the width of the rostrum at two sections (the barbels and the rostrum tip) does not significantly correlate with total length. The regression analyses also suggested that the barbels of P. cirratus may be lateralised.

The short-lived neon damsel Pomacentrus coelestis: implications for population dynamics

Published on 16/3/2017
Daily increments of Pomacentrus coelestis, an abundant and well-studied fish, were validated for the life of the fish and depending on the location, age-maxima were estimated to be 127–160 days on reefs separated by tens to hundreds of kilometres on the Great Barrier Reef. This contrasts with congeners and other damselfishes that live for 5 years or more. Otoliths of P. coelestis were thinner and had different patterns of banding when compared with relatively long-lived congeners. It is suggested that banding patterns in P. coelestis may be related to patterns of maturation and spawning. The consequences of a short life would have a great influence on the population dynamics of this widespread species. Further, the demographics and habitat preferences of this species suggest rapid colonization and establishment of breeding populations that would quickly change the relative abundance of sympatric fishes.

Structure, composition, mechanics and growth of spines of the dorsal fin of blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus and common carp Cyprinus carpio

Published on 14/3/2017
The structural, compositional and mechanical properties of the spines of the dorsal fin in mature anosteocytic blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus and osteocytic common carp Cyprinus carpio are described, as well as their temporal growth pattern and regenerative capacities. The three-dimensional architecture of both spines, from macro to sub-micron levels, is shown to be axially oriented and therefore highly anisotropic and the spines of both species are able to regenerate after partial amputation.

Establishment and characterization of a cell line from the head kidney of golden pompano Trachinotus ovatus and its application in toxicology and virus susceptibility

Published on 8/3/2017
A cell line derived from the head kidney of golden pompano Trachinotus ovatus (TOHK) was established and characterized in this study. The TOHK cells grew most rapidly at 28° C and the optimum foetal bovine serum concentration in L-15 medium was 10%. The TOHK cells have a diploid chromosome number of 2N = 54. The transfection efficiency of TOHK cells was 7·5% at the 15th passage and 72% at the 40th passage. The transfection efficiency in TOHK cells was high, so these cells are suitable for foreign gene expression. The cytotoxic effects of heavy metals and extracellular products from Vibrio anguillarum and Vibrio alginolyticus were demonstrated in TOHK cells, so this TOHK cell line could also be applied in environmental monitoring of heavy metals and pathogenic bacteria. TOHK cell line showed high virus susceptibility, such as grouper nervous necrosis virus (GNNV) and Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV). Then, TOHK cell line could be used for the study of viral pathogenesis and the development of antiviral strategies.

What can morphology tell us about ecology of four invasive goby species?

Published on 7/3/2017
This study presents a detailed comparative analysis of external morphology of four of the most invasive goby species in Europe (round goby Neogobius melanostomus, bighead goby Ponticola kessleri, monkey goby Neogobius fluviatilis and racer goby Ponticola gymnotrachelus) and interprets some ecological requirements of these species based on their morphological attributes. The results are evaluated within an ontogenetic context, and the morphological differences between the species are discussed in terms of the question: can special external shape adaptations help to assess the invasive potential of each species? The morphometric analyses demonstrate important differences between the four invasive gobies. Neogobius melanostomus appears to have the least specialized external morphology that may favour its invasive success: little specialization to habitat or diet means reduced restraints on overall ecological requirements. The other three species were found to possess some morphological specializations (P. kessleri to large prey, N. fluviatilis to sandy habitats and P. gymnotrachelus to macrophytes), but none of these gobies have managed to colonize such large areas or to reach such overall abundances as N. melanostomus.

Some observations on the biology of two rarely seen deep-sea chimaerids, Chimaera carophila and Hydrolagus homonycteris

Published on 7/3/2017
Chimaera carophila (n = 45) and Hydrolagus homonycteris (n = 11), two deep-sea chimaerids rarely caught in the waters off New Zealand, were collected from research trawl catches and commercial fishery catches around New Zealand at depths between 400 and 1300 m, between 2014 and 2016. Additional preserved specimens of both species (n = 58) from museum collections were analysed for size, sex and maturity. External assessment of male claspers and a combination of internal assessments of female gonad mass and oviducal gland width, were used to determine maturity. For both species, length at first maturity was 0·70–0·82 of their maximum observed chimaera length (LC), with females maturing at a larger size. Length at maturity for C. carophila (LC range: 28·7–103·9 cm) was estimated at 72·5 cm LC for males (n = 163) and 82·5 LC for females (n = 58). In H. homonycteris, length at maturity (length range: 78·6–99·8 cm LC) was estimated at 79·1 cm LC for males (n = 51) and 80·1 cm LC for females (n = 17). Ovarian fecundity was up to 31 for C. carophila and sperm storage was confirmed in the oviducal gland of this species. Both species preyed on benthic invertebrates. Some C. carophila and H. homonycteris inhabit depths beyond most current fisheries, but both species appear to be relatively rare and have reproductive parameters characteristic of low productivity, which may make these species vulnerable to population decline if mortality was to increase in the future.

Issue Information

Published on 1/3/2017

Issue Information

Published on 1/3/2017


Published on 1/3/2017

Feeding range of age 1+ year Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis in the Baltic Sea

Published on 27/2/2017
Using the widespread Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis as a model organism, feeding ranges were investigated using stable-isotope ratios (δ15N and δ13C) and body condition. Differences were found between closely located sampling sites in a littoral area without obvious migration barriers, indicating that individual fish had small feeding ranges. Body condition differences between sampled stations were consistent over 4 years. Such sedentary behaviour is important to consider in, e.g. fisheries management and environmental monitoring, as local catch regulations may be meaningful or geographic stability in sampling locations may reduce noise in data.

Sawfishes stealth revealed using computational fluid dynamics

Published on 27/2/2017
Detailed computational fluid dynamics simulations for the rostrum of three species of sawfish (Pristidae) revealed that negligible turbulent flow is generated from all rostra during lateral swipe prey manipulation and swimming. These results suggest that sawfishes are effective stealth hunters that may not be detected by their teleost prey's lateral line sensory system during pursuits. Moreover, during lateral swipes, the rostra were found to induce little velocity into the surrounding fluid. Consistent with previous data of sawfish feeding behaviour, these data indicate that the rostrum is therefore unlikely to be used to stir up the bottom to uncover benthic prey. Whilst swimming with the rostrum inclined at a small angle to the horizontal, the coefficient of drag of the rostrum is relatively low and the coefficient of lift is zero.

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