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Condition and Health Indicators of Exploited Marine Fishes

ISBN: 978-0-470-67024-8
262 pages
January 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
Condition and Health Indicators of Exploited Marine Fishes (047067024X) cover image


This important and informative new book outlines and discusses details of the basic principles and methods that are central to any study of fish condition, from a fish ecology and fisheries biology perspective. Condition and Health Indicators of Exploited Marine Fishes describes the potential capacities of condition indicators, providing examples showing the use of these indicators to solve practical problems in connection with fish ecology and fisheries research. By focusing on wild fish populations, the book complements the increasing number of scientific works that are contributing to show how fish condition studies are key to reveal problems in marine aquaculture, the effects of pollution, fish disease, and the importance of fish in human nutrition and medicine.

Condition and Health Indicators of Exploited Marine Fishes provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of fish condition that will assist advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers and professionals, working in marine ecology and biology, fisheries biology, environmental sciences and fish pathology. All universities and research establishments where biological and environmental sciences, fisheries and aquaculture are studied and taught should have copies of this book on their shelves.

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Table of Contents

Foreword viii

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiv

1 Description of condition indicators 1

1.1 Morphometric indicators 3

1.1.1 Fulton’s K condition factor 4

1.1.2 Le Cren’s relative condition factor (Kn) 5

1.1.3 Relative weight (Wr) 6

1.1.4 Other methods based on weights and lengths 6

1.1.5 Limits of use of morphometric condition indicators 7

1.2 Organosomatic (bioenergetic or morphophysiological) indicators 12

1.2.1 Hepatosomatic index (liver index or relative liver condition) 12

1.2.2 Mesenteric (adipose or perivisceral) fat index 15

1.2.3 Digestivosomatic index or digestive index 16

1.2.4 Limits of applicability of organosomatic indicators 16

2 Physiological and biochemical condition indicators: their relevance in fish metabolism 17

2.1 Basic concepts 19

2.1.1 Energy expenditures 19

2.1.2 Sub-organism metabolism 22

2.1.3 Blood: transport of energy 22

2.1.4 Alternative pathways of energy catabolism 23

2.1.5 Energy anabolism: accumulation of energy 23

2.2 Lipids 24

2.2.1 Lipids as energy substrates 24

2.2.2 Lipids as structural metabolic substrates 24

2.2.3 Fatty acids 26

2.2.4 Lipid analysis 27

2.2.5 Rapid methods for fat measurement in fish 32

2.3 Carbohydrates 37

2.4 Proteins and products of protein and nitrogenous metabolism 38

2.5 Nucleic acid-based indicators 39

2.6 Enzymes and some other indicators of intermediate metabolism 41

2.7 Hormones and other biologically active substances 41

3 Indicators of functional activity 42

3.1 Significance of condition indicators of functional activity in fish 42

3.2 Applied recommendations 51

4 Fish condition and life history 52

4.1 Fish condition during ontogenesis 52

4.1.1 Embryonic (eggs) and post-embryonic (larvae) development 53

4.1.2 Juveniles 56

4.1.3 Sexual maturation 57

4.1.4 Senescence 61

4.1.5 Post-spawning death 63

4.2 Impact of fish condition on life-history traits 64

4.2.1 Impact on reproductive potential 64

4.2.2 Impact on growth 82

4.2.3 Impact on natural mortality 83

4.2.4 Applied recommendations 85

4.3 Condition during the annual cycle 86

4.3.1 Pre-spawning period 88

4.3.2 Spawning 88

4.3.3 Post-spawning feeding 93

4.3.4 Wintering 94

4.3.5 Migrations 96

4.3.6 Applied recommendations 97

4.4 Other cycles 97

4.4.1 Daily rhythms 97

4.4.2 Interannual fluctuations 98

4.5 Connection indicators between fish metabolism, abundance dynamics, behavior, and distribution 99

4.5.1 Abundance dynamics 99

4.5.2 Behavior 102

4.5.3 Distribution 107

5 Influence of environmental and anthropogenic factors on fish condition 111

5.1 Biotic factors 111

5.1.1 Food consumption 111

5.1.2 Density effects on condition 123

5.1.3 Parasites 125

5.2 Abiotic factors 130

5.2.1 Temperature 131

5.2.2 Climate change 136

5.2.3 Oxygen deficiency 140

5.3 Anthropogenic factors 147

5.3.1 Pollution 147

5.3.2 Fishing 150

5.3.3 Aquaculture 155

6 Fish condition as a measure of environmental status and habitat quality 158

6.1 Fish condition as a measure of habitat quality 159

6.1.1 Large-scale differences in fish condition 159

6.1.2 Small-scale differences in fish condition 164

6.1.3 Condition as an indicator of habitat protection 172

6.1.4 Bathymetric quality 172

6.2 Condition of exploited fish and their predators 173

6.3 Fish condition as an indicator of climate-driven and anthropogenic changes in the ecosystem 175

6.4 Indicators of interspecific and intraspecific differentiation 189

7 Use of fish condition indicators to improve stock assessment and fisheries management 194

7.1 Fish condition and fishing mortality 195

7.2 Spatial and temporal variability: implications for fisheries 195

7.2.1 Seasonality 195

7.2.2 Interannual variability 199

7.2.3 Spatial variability 203

7.3 Fish condition and stock assessment and management 203

Conclusions 206

References 207

Index 244

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Author Information

Dr Josep Lloret (Roses, 1971) is a fisheries biologist who carries out pioneering research on fish condition health) and its influence on life history traits, such as reproduction and growth. His research has been conducted at the CSIC and the University of Girona (Spain), the Institute of Sea Fisheries-Thünen Institute (Germany) and the CNRS (France).

Dr Prof Georgiy Shulman (Kiev, 1929) is a marine zoologist, specialising in fish ecology and physiology. His well-known investigations have great significance in the areas of fish adaptations, biodiversity, life history and productivity, as well as fishery problems. His research has been carried out in The Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas (Sevastopol, Ukraine).

Dr R. Malcolm Love (Liverpool, 1928-2006) was a world-renowned fish biochemist and biotechnologist. Dr Love carried out research in the fields of fish chemical biology, and the importance of fish in human nutrition, at the Torry Research Station, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.

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“Because of this, the book is most appropriate for advanced students interested in fisheries, fisheries managers, and professionals in the field.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Upper-division undergraduates and above.”  (Choice, 1 September 2014)

“It is certainly the most comprehensive volume on fish condition published to date.”  (Fish & Fisheries, 4 October 2014)

“This book represents an essential contribution to the biology of marine fishes and will be an extremely valuable guide for the monitoring, conservation and sustainable exploitation of fish stocks.”  (Marine Biology Research, 1 September 2014)

Condition and Health Indicators of Exploited Marine Fishes…covers all aspects from a description of the measures of condition, to physiology and biochemistry; the underlying biological mechanisms, to environmental factors affecting condition, and finally to the use of condition indicators in stock assessment. This broad coverage will aid researchers in their thinking about how condition is determined and what changes in condition mean for individuals and populations. Bringing all of these aspects together in one volume makes this book a very valuable reference tool.” (Dr Joanne Morgan, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Canada)

“This book is very informative and valuable…It is truly an international example of a review, in which different literature sources (including Russian, Ukrainian, Scottish and Spanish sources that existed as a “grey literature”) have been assembled for a broader international audience. The authors, well known for their excellent research, have provided a substantial and undeniable contribution to fish condition studies. The book should certainly be a “desktop” book for many fishery scientist/ecologists as well as for students and all who are interested in marine life research.” (Dr Natalia A. Yaragina,Knipovich Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, Russia)

“The seven chapters in this book provide, for the first time, a detailed and complete analysis of the diversity of the current methods used for analyzing fish condition, providing cutting-edge examples of various applications and recent advances…this book improves knowledge on fish condition indices and their applications to fisheries and environmental sciences. It is an essential reference for students, researchers and fishery managers interested in fishery topics.” (Professor Rachid Amara,Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, UMR LOG 8187 CNRS, France)

“The authors are to be applauded for providing an updated review on this topic in a single volume and from a variety of perspectives…numerous aspects of the book are to be commended: the range of condition indicators reviewed, the inclusion of applied recommendations and emphasis of important points, and the diversity of facets treated in relation to condition and health indicators.” (Dr Emili García-Berthou,University of Girona, Spain)

“The present book extensively covers all these aspects related to the measurement, significance and usefulness of condition indicators to study fish populations in their natural environment. It represents a significant reference for fisheries biologists interested in measuring fish health status and productivity.”
(Dr. Yvan Lambert Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

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