Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Chemical prints finger fish

Chemical prints finger fish

A technique that collects chemical ‘fingerprints’ from the ear bones of fish to help scientists identify which estuaries they originated from could have important implications for the management of New Zealand’s local fisheries, said a report published today by the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

Estuaries are vital nursery areas for many of New Zealand’s valuable coastal fish, including snapper. Unfortunately, estuaries are very vulnerable to human activities, and few, if any, in New Zealand remain in a pristine state, said NIWA fisheries scientist Mark Morrison. “Sedimentation, chemical runoff, pollution, and foreshore reclamation all have negative effects on our estuaries. Their effects on important juvenile fish habitats can be devastating, and may lead to a drop in adult fish populations.”

NIWA’s National Centre for Fisheries & Aquaculture is developing techniques to trace the links between fish nursery habitats in estuaries and adult fish habitats in the open coast. One technique showing great potential for a wide range of fish species and habitats is the identification of chemical ‘signatures’ of particular estuaries in fish ear bones (otoliths).

“Juvenile fish that have spent their whole life in a single estuary will take up chemicals from their environment through food or directly from the water. The amount of chemicals in the estuary is reflected in the fish’s ear bones or tissues, and it’s these chemical fingerprints that we hope will help us to establish chemical signatures for different estuaries,” said Dr Morrison.

NIWA is currently sampling snapper less than 1 year old by this method from estuaries in the west coast of the North Island. If this technique is successful, scientists will be able to find out how different estuaries contribute to adult fish populations, assess the movement of fish from estuaries over time along the open coast, and possibly investigate the homing behaviour of fish over larger areas.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media Mega Merger: StuffMe Hearing Argues Over Moveable Feast

New Zealand's two largest news publishers are appealing against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Elsewhere:


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>

ALSO:


Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>