Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Using Earstones To Identify Red Drum Nursery Grounds

Date:
May 29, 2001
Source:
National Sea Grant College Program
Summary:
Humans have all sorts of ways of telling where an individual is from -- passports, birth certificates and sometimes even physical appearance - but identifying a fish's origins is not so easy.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Humans have all sorts of ways of telling where an individual is from -- passports, birth certificates and sometimes even physical appearance - but identifying a fish's origins is not so easy.

By analyzing the earstones of red drum, Texas A&M University at Galveston marine biologist and Sea Grant researcher Jay Rooker hopes to identify red drum nursery grounds and determine the contribution of each area to the adult red drum population.

Earstones, or otoliths, can provide this information. Otoliths are part of the inner ear system and used for hearing and balance. They are formed as the fish grows and are constructed from chemicals contained in the seawater. If scientists can identify earstone compositions that are unique to particular bays or ecosystems, then they can determine where a fish originated.

"Based on differences in the water chemistry of different bays, we expect that the otolith chemistry will be distinct," Rooker said. "We can use the technique to identify the source of adult red drum stocks in Texas."

If the project can identify the major sources of red drum, he said, then that information will let fishery managers know which nursery grounds need to be protected.

"If we can understand what areas are important nursery grounds - from a management standpoint, that definitely will help when we try to enhance the recovery of the stock," he said.

This project, which is funded by the Texas Sea Grant College Program, also may help determine stocking practices in which officials release farm-raised fish into the wild to boost the numbers in a population. Researchers hope to show whether fish from different areas of the coast intermingle, Rooker said.

For example, red drum growing up along Texas' northern coast may not mix with fish from the south. If this is the case, he said, then fishery officials may need to stock northern areas only with fish from that portion of the coast.

Rooker said he also will compare fish originating in nursery grounds with a lot of sea grasses to fish from areas with no sea grasses to see if they have earstones different from one another. If so, this would allow scientists to determine whether one area is more productive than the other in terms of the number of red drum coming from those areas.

"The real value is that if we know that certain bay habitats are contributing more than other bays, it may tell us something about the value and health of different ecosystems or bay habitats along the Texas coast," Rooker said.

The National Sea Grant College Program is a partnership of university, government and industry, focusing on marine research, education and advisory service. The Sea Grant Program is a practical, broad-based effort to promote better understanding and use of marine resources through research, education, extension and information transfer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Sea Grant College Program. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Sea Grant College Program. "Scientists Using Earstones To Identify Red Drum Nursery Grounds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010529070315.htm>.
National Sea Grant College Program. (2001, May 29). Scientists Using Earstones To Identify Red Drum Nursery Grounds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010529070315.htm
National Sea Grant College Program. "Scientists Using Earstones To Identify Red Drum Nursery Grounds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010529070315.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins