The Use of Parasites in Discriminating Stocks of Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in the Northeast Pacific

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Marine Science


The use of parasites as indicators of the stock structure of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in the northeast Pacific was investigated by using 328 adult (>55 cm fork length) halibut from 15 composite localities ranging from northern California to the northern Bering Sea and 96 juvenile (10-55 cm) halibut from five localities ranging from the northern Queen Charlotte Islands to the Bering Sea. Counts of eight selected parasite species (the juvenile acanthocephalans Corynosoma strumosum and C. villosum, the metacestode Nybelinia surmenicola, the digenean metacercaria Otodistomum sp., and the larval nematodes Anisakis simplex, Pseudoterranova decipiens, Contracaecum sp., and Spirurid gen. sp.) that produce infections of long duration, do not multiply in the host, and that have a relatively high abundance in at least one geographic locality were subjected to discriminant function analysis. Juvenile Pacific halibut showed no separation and, even though they were not heavily infected with parasites, the analysis suggested that juveniles could be a mixed stock. Three groups of adults were identified: fish from California to the southern Queen Charlotte Islands, those from the northern Queen Charlotte Islands to the central Bering Sea, and those from the central and northern Bering Sea. These groups suggest that the single stock concept be more thoroughly evaluated.

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Fishery Bulletin





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