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Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 267–284 | Cite as

Integrated approach to determining stock structure: implications for fisheries management of sardine, Sardinops sagax, in Australian waters

  • Christopher Izzo
  • Tim M. Ward
  • Alex R. Ivey
  • Iain M. Suthers
  • John Stewart
  • Stuart C. Sexton
  • Bronwyn M. Gillanders
Research Paper

Abstract

The stock structure of small pelagic fishes is difficult to determine due to their patchy distribution and complex movement patterns. We integrate genetic, morphological, otolith, growth, reproductive and fishery data collected over 60 years using a Stock Differentiation Index (SDI). The absence of strong separation (SDI > 0.66) of most adjacent sub-groups supports the hypothesis that sardine (Sardinops sagax) in Australian waters is a meta-population, but with effective isolation of at least four stocks: south western coast (off Western Australia); Great Australian Bight and Spencer Gulf; Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay (off Victoria and Tasmania); and eastern Australia. There is also evidence for sub-division of the stocks off Western Australia and the east coast. We examine age-related and inter-annual patterns of stock structure off South Australia and the east coast through integrated analysis of otolith chemistry and shape data. For the east coast, there were significant differences between northern and southern sub-groups for all three age cohorts examined. Fish were correctly classified to sampling region with a high degree of success (>80%), supporting the sub-division of the east coast stock suggested by the SDI. For South Australia, there were significant differences among two sub-groups for most cohorts examined across two sampling years. However, spatial discriminatory power was poor, with allocation success ranging from 48 to 64%. Results suggest that movements between the two South Australian sub-groups may vary among years, which is consistent with inconclusive SDI (0.5). Integrating historical data using a SDI is suitable for identifying fishery management units. Integrated analysis of otoliths from archival collections is useful for examining temporal variability in stock structure, which is also important for fisheries management. Our findings are relevant to fisheries where sustainability risks are increased by management arrangements based on assumptions that stock structure is absent or stable.

Keywords

Fisheries management Small pelagic fishes Stock structure Otolith chemistry Otolith shape analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Australian Government Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (Project No. 2009/021). The South Australian Research and Development Institute provided significant in-kind support. The authors thank the crews of the numerous fishing vessels and fisheries observers for their assistance in collecting samples. Thanks to Benjamin Wade at Adelaide Microscopy for support with the ICP-MS. Greg Ferguson is thanked for guidance on otolith shape analysis. Bronwyn Gillanders was supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT100100767).

Supplementary material

11160_2017_9468_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Izzo
    • 1
  • Tim M. Ward
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alex R. Ivey
    • 2
  • Iain M. Suthers
    • 4
    • 5
  • John Stewart
    • 6
  • Stuart C. Sexton
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bronwyn M. Gillanders
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.South Australian Research and Development Institute, Aquatic SciencesHenley BeachAustralia
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Centre for Ecosystem Science, and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  5. 5.Sydney Institute of Marine ScienceMosmanAustralia
  6. 6.New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries NSWSydney Institute of Marine ScienceMosmanAustralia

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