Ichthyological Research

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 177–182 | Cite as

Preliminary observations of the skeletal development in pre-flexion larvae of sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria

  • Alison L. DearyEmail author
  • Steven M. Porter
  • Annette B. Dougherty
  • Janet T. Duffy-Anderson
Short Report


Sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria support a lucrative fishery in the Gulf of Alaska, but their numbers have been declining despite a regulated fishery. Recruitment in A. fimbria is poorly understood due to its unusual early life history relative to many other deep-water fishes. Developmental patterns can identify critical periods during ontogeny that influence foraging and swimming abilities among individual larvae. External development in A. fimbria has been described, but the data presented here are the first examination of the skeletal development of A. fimbria during the transition to first feeding.


Black cod First-feeding larvae Neuston Recruitment bottlenecks 



We would like to thank Peter Konstantinidis, Jay Orr, Morgan Busby, and the comments from two anonymous reviewers for their invaluable suggestions on early versions of this manuscript. Ken Massee and Ric Goetz at the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Manchester Laboratory, provided sablefish eggs. We also thank Katherine Maslenikov for curating the specimens at the University of Washington Fish Collection. The findings and conclusions in the paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Mention of trade names does not imply endorsement by NOAA or any of its subagencies. This is contribution number EcoFOCI-0903 of Ecosystems and Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations.


  1. Alderdice DF, Jensen JOT, Velsen FPJ (1988) Incubation of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in a system designed for culture of fragile marine teleost eggs. Aquaculture 71:271‒283Google Scholar
  2. Anto J, Turingan RG (2010) Relating the ontogeny of functional morphology and prey selection with larval mortality in Amphiprion frenatus. J Morphol 271:682‒696Google Scholar
  3. Anto J, Majoris J, Turingan RG (2009) Prey selection and functional morphology through ontogeny of Amphiprion clarkii with a congeneric comparison. J Fish Biol 75:575‒590Google Scholar
  4. Balon EK (1981) Saltatory processes and altricial to precocial forms in the ontogeny of fishes. Am Zool 21:573‒596Google Scholar
  5. Coffin B, Mueter FJ (2016) Environmental covariates of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) and Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus) recruitment in the Gulf of Alaska. Deep-sea Res II 132:194‒209Google Scholar
  6. Cook MA, Massee KC, Wade TH, Oden SM, Jensen C, Jasonowicz A, Immerman DA, Goetz FW (2015) Culture of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) larvae in four experimental tank designs. Aquac Eng 69:43‒49Google Scholar
  7. Cubbage CC, Mabee PM (1996) Development of the cranium and paired fins in the zebrafish Danio rerio (Ostariophysi, Cyprinidae). J Morphl 229:121‒160Google Scholar
  8. Doyle MJ (1992) Neustonic ichthyoplankton in the northern region of the California Current ecosystem. CalCOFI Rep 33:141–161Google Scholar
  9. Hanselman DH, Rodgveller CJ, Lunsford CR, Fenske KH (2017) Assessment of the sablefish stock in Alaska. In: Stock assessment and fishery evaluation report for the groundfish resources of the GOA and BS/AI. North Pacific Fishery Management Council, Anchorage, pp 327–502Google Scholar
  10. Hilton EJ (2002) Osteology of the extant North American fishes of the genus Hiodon Lesueur, 1818 (Teleostei: Osteoglossomorpha: Hiodontiformes). Fieldiana. Zool (100):1–142Google Scholar
  11. Hunt Von Herbing I, Miyake T, Hall BK, Boutilier G (1996) Ontogeny of feeding and respiration in larval Atlantic cod Gadus morhua (Teleostei, Gadiformes): I. Morphology. J Morphol 227:15–35Google Scholar
  12. Jensen JOT, Damon W (2002) Digital photo-microscopy of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) embryonic development. In: Jensen J, Clarke C, Kinlay DM (eds) Incubation of Fish: Biology and Techniques. International Congress on the Biology of Fish, Vancouver, pp 49–58Google Scholar
  13. Kendall Jr AW, Matarese AC (1987) Biology of eggs, larvae, and epipelagic juveniles of sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria, in relation to their potential use in management. Mar Fish Rev 49:1–13Google Scholar
  14. Kubicek KM, Conway KW (2016) Development osteology of Sciaenops ocellatus and Cynoscion nebulosus (Teleostei: Sciaenidae), economically important sciaenids from the western Atlantic. Acta Zool 97:267–301Google Scholar
  15. Mason JC, Beamish RJ, McFarlane GA (1983) Sexual maturity, fecundity, spawning, and early life history of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) off the Pacific coast of Canada. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 40:2126–2134Google Scholar
  16. McFarlane GA, Beamish RJ (1992) Climatic influence linking copepod production with strong year-classes in Sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 49:743–753Google Scholar
  17. McFarlane GA, Nagata WD (1988) Overview of sablefish mariculture and its potential for industry. In: Keller S (ed) Proceedings of the Fourth Alaska Aquaculture Conference. Alsk Sea Grant, Sitka, pp 105–133Google Scholar
  18. Osse JWM, Van Den Boogaart JGM (1999) Dynamic morphology of fish larvae, structural implications of friction forces in swimming, feeding and ventilation. J Fish Biol 55(sA): 156–174Google Scholar
  19. Østergaard P, Munk P, Janekarn V (2005) Contrasting feeding patterns among species of fish larvae from the tropical Andaman Sea. Mar Biol 146:595–606Google Scholar
  20. Peck MA, Huebert KB, Llopiz JK (2012) Intrinsic and extrinsic factors driving match-mismatch dynamics during the early life history of marine fishes. Adv Ecol Res 47:177–302Google Scholar
  21. Schnell NK, Konstantinidis P, Johnson GD (2016) High-proof ethanol fixation of larval and juvenile fishes for clearing and double staining. Copeia 104:617–622Google Scholar
  22. Shotwell KS, Hanselman DH, Belkin IM (2014) Toward biophysical synergy: Investigating advection along the Polar Front to identify factors influencing Alaska sablefish recruitment. Deep-sea Res II 107:40–53Google Scholar
  23. Shotwell KS, Blackhart K, Hanselman DH, Lynch P, Zador S, Fissel B, Spencer P, Aydin K (In Prep) Introducing a national framework for including stock-specific ecosystem and socioeconomic considerations within next generation stock assessments. ICES J Mar SciGoogle Scholar
  24. Siddon EC, Forest LG De, Blood DM, Doyle MJ, Matarese AC (2016) Early life history ecology for five commercially and ecologically important fish species in the eastern and western Gulf of Alaska. Deep-sea Res II.
  25. Sigler MF, Rutecki TL, Courtney DL, Karinen JF, Yang M-S (2001) Young of the year sablefish abundance, growth, and diet in the Gulf of Alaska. Alsk Fish Res Bull 8:57 –70Google Scholar
  26. Taylor WR, Van Dyke GG (1985) Revised procedures for staining and clearing small fishes and other vertebrates for bone and cartilage study. Cybium 9:107–119Google Scholar
  27. Walker MB, Kimmel CB (2006) A two-color acid-free cartilage and bone stain for zebrafish larvae. Biotech Histochem 82:23–28Google Scholar
  28. Wing BL (1997) Distribution of sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria, larvae in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska. In: Saunders M, Wilkins M (eds) Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Biology and Management of Sablefish. US Department of Commerce, Seattle, pp 13–25Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison L. Deary
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steven M. Porter
    • 1
  • Annette B. Dougherty
    • 1
  • Janet T. Duffy-Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAASeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations