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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 404:197-206 (2010)  -  DOI:

Multi-disciplinary fingerprints reveal the harvest location of cod Gadus morhua in the northeast Atlantic

Ruth M. Higgins1,11,*, Bret S. Danilowicz1,2, Juan A. Balbuena3, Anna K. Daníelsdóttir4,10, Audrey J. Geffen5, Wim G. Meijer6, Johan Modin7,, Francisco E. Montero3,9, Christophe Pampoulie4, Diana Perdiguero-Alonso3, Arnd Schreiber8, Magnús Ö. Stefánsson4, Bryan Wilson1,6

1School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
2College of Science and Technology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia 30458, USA
3Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, PO Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain
4Marine Research Institute, Skúlagata 4, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
5Deptartment of Biology, University of Bergen, PO Box 7803, 5020 Bergen, Norway
6School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
7Coastal Research Institute, Swedish Board of Fisheries, 74071 Öregrund, Sweden
8University of Karlsruhe, Adenauerring 20, Geb. 50.40, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
9Department of Animal Biology, Plant Biology, and Ecology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Campus Universitari, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
10Matis, Skúlagata, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
11Instituto do Mar, Universidade dos Açores, Horta, 9901-862, Portugal

ABSTRACT: Using multiple biological markers to establish the fingerprint of a harvest location, individual cod Gadus morhua L. can be classified to their population of origin without error. A combined approach to classification using otolith microchemistry, otolith shape analysis, body morphometry, microbacterial assemblages, internal and external parasites, and microsatellite DNA was found to be more powerful than by any single technique. Binomial and multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to distinguish wild from farmed fish and subsequently to determine the precise harvest origin of each individual. Two new approaches were used: one focusing on optimal or key variables from each discipline and the other using probability values derived on a technique-by-technique basis. Cod from widely separated origins were classified with high (up to 100% correct) placement success. Focusing on the placement of individual fish, this study represents a decisive advance toward identifying fish harvested from protected populations.

KEY WORDS: Traceability · Discrimination · Cod · Biological marker · Molecular marker · Otolith · Morphometry

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Cite this article as: Higgins RM, Danilowicz BS, Balbuena JA, Daníelsdóttir AK and others (2010) Multi-disciplinary fingerprints reveal the harvest location of cod Gadus morhua in the northeast Atlantic. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 404:197-206.

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