Feasibility of ageing Hawaiian Archipelago uku (Aprion virescens)
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Feasibility of ageing Hawaiian Archipelago uku (Aprion virescens)
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    The green jobfish Aprion virescens (Hawaii local name, uku) is an economically important component of Hawai'i's spearfishing, trolling, and deep handline fisheries (largest total poundage landed and third most valuable non-pelagic species). However, stock status of this large-bodied lutjanid has not been determined since 1990 and a primary reason is a lack of life history information (length-at-age, somatic growth, mortality). We examined the otoliths of this potentially long-lived fish to determine the most efficient method for thin-sectioning otoliths for age interpretation. We then developed an ageing criteria based on 1) edge analysis that confirmed the seasonality of annular mark deposition, 2) validation of the location of the first annual mark using daily ring counts and a corresponding distinct growth mark on the dorsal side of the otolith and, 3) a change in the shape of the otolith cross-section that distinguishes young fish from older fish. Bomb radiocarbon analysis and plots of otolith weight and fish length vs. estimated age revealed that the ageing criteria is acceptable and estimates of precision indicate that reproducible age estimates are possible. The ageing criteria (Appendix A) include annotated reference photographs of otolith thin sections to aid future age readers. [doi:10.7289/V5/AR-PIFSC-H-16-06 (http://dx.doi.org/10.7289/V5/AR-PIFSC-H-16-06)]
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