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Xiaolu LI, Chi ZHANG, Yongjun TIAN, Longshan LIN, Shigang LIU. Early life history traits of chub mackerel Scomber japonicus in the Oyashio water revealed by otolith microstructure[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2023, 41(6): 2444-2450

Early life history traits of chub mackerel Scomber japonicus in the Oyashio water revealed by otolith microstructure

Xiaolu LI1, Chi ZHANG1, Yongjun TIAN1,2, Longshan LIN3, Shigang LIU3
1 Research Centre for Deep Sea and Polar Fisheries, and Key Laboratory of Mariculture, Ministy of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China;
2 Frontiers Science Center for Deep Ocean Multispheres and Earth System(FDOMES), Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China;
3 Third Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Xiamen 361000, China
Information on survival and growth during the early life stage is essential to understand the mechanism of interannual variations in fish recruitment. Chub mackerel Scomber japonicus is a commercially important pelagic fish widely distributed in the northwestern Pacific. Its catch showed large fluctuations with changes in distribution and migration under climate change and strong fishing. We determined the hatch dates and growth rates of young-of-the-year of chub mackerel through otolith microstructure using samples collected in the Oyashio water in autumn 2018. Results show that the ages of young chub mackerel ranged between 120 and 180 d, and the estimated hatch date lasted from mid-January to late May with a peak from mid-March to mid-April. Average otolith daily increment width during the early life stages (from hatching to 25 d) showed an increasing trend. Chub mackerel grows slowly in the first 10 d, and then grows faster during the 10th to 25th d. Three groups with dissimilar growth histories and migration routes were identified using unsupervised random forest clustering analysis, but all eventually converge on the same nursery ground. The faster growth of young-of-the-year chub mackerel leads to better recruitment due to the hypothesis of growth-dependent mortality. Most chub mackerels hatched in March and April, the spawning period is longer and earlier, which could lead to strong year classes. These findings on population composition and life history traits of young-of-the-year of chub mackerel provide valuable information on its recruitment processes during the period of stock recovery.
Key words:    Scomber japonicus|otolith microstructure|growth history|unsupervised random forest clustering|recruitment   
Received: 2022-07-12   Revised:
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