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 July 26, 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 July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) — Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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