| Evaluation of two methods to discriminate Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) stocks along the northern Gulf of Alaska - :3442 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Evaluation of two methods to discriminate Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) stocks along the northern Gulf of Alaska
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  • Corporate Authors:
    Auke Bay Laboratory (Juneau, Alaska) ; Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council ;
  • Description:
    Understanding the stock structure of northern Gulf of Alaska (NGA) herring is relevant to the assessment and management of these exploited populations. We evaluated the capabilities of otolith microchemistry and heart tissue fatty acid profile to identify the stock of origin for herring sampled from four focal NGA spawning aggregations, and two outside NGA (Sitka and Togiak). Otolith microchemistries were measured using an electron microprobe equipped with four wavelength dispersive spectrometers. Fatty acid profiles were determined by performing trans-esterification and fatty acid chromatography on purified lipids from whole hearts. A MANOVA revealed significant regional differences among the mean fatty acid profiles of heart lipids from Sitka, NGA and Togiak herring and among the four NGA stocks. Cross-validation of discriminant functions demonstrated that fatty acid profiles could be used to correctly identify unknown samples more than 90% of the time. Otolith microchemistries were also significantly different between Sitka and Togiak and among some NGA stocks, but could not effectively discriminate between NGA and other regions, or between two of four NGA stocks. Further work is necessary to verify the temporal stability of the biomarkers before they can be used to determine stock contributions from mixed-stock herring fisheries in this region.

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  • Funding:
    Funding: Funded by Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council;
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