RESEARCH ARTICLE


Rapid Lateral Extraction of Otoliths that Maintains the Integrity of Fish Product to Improve Access to Catches and Reduce Potential Sampling Biases



Corey B. Wakefield1, 2, *, Dion K. Boddington1, 2, Stephen J. Newman1, 2
1 Western Australian Fisheries and Marine Research Laboratories, Department of Fisheries, Government of Western Australia, P.O. Box 20, North Beach, Western Australia, 6920, Australia
2 Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia, 6845, Australia


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© Wakefield et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Western Australian Fisheries and Marine Research Laboratories, Department of Fisheries, Government of Western Australia, P.O. Box 20, North Beach, Western Australia, 6920, Australia; Tel: +61-8-9203-0111; Fax: +61-8-9203-0199; E-mail: Corey.Wakefield@fish.wa.gov.au


Abstract

The capacity to sample otoliths of fish from commercial, recreational, artisanal or subsistence catches can be constrained if the dissection process results in alterations to their external appearance and thus reduces its value and/or shelf life. There can also be significant biases incorporated into the collection of otolith samples if access is only granted relative to the size of the fish (i.e. if smaller fish are sold whole). To reduce such limitations, we herein describe a rapid and simple method of lateral otolith extraction that maintains the integrity of the fish product, and thus reduces potential biases in sample collection for age structure data. Representative sampling is an important consideration for the collection of age structure data when it is intended to be used in fisheries stock assessments.

Keywords: Age Data, Fisheries, Representative Sampling, Sagittal Otolith Removal.