Stock discrimination using otolith shape analysis

S. E. Campana, J. M. Casselman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

350 Citations (Scopus)


All three pairs of otoliths were sampled from 2349 Atlantic cod Gadus morhua collected on spawning grounds throughout the NW Atlantic. Otolith shape was determined with Fourier analysis and combined with measures of otolith area and perimeter. There were highly significant differences in otolith shape among most of the cod samples, but shape also differed among ages, sexes, and year-classes. The sagittal otoliths (largest pair) provided slightly better stock discrimination than did the lapillar or asteriscal otoliths. The first discriminant function was highly correlated with both fish and otolith growth rate, indicating that stock discrimination improved as the difference in stock-specific growth rate increased. Growth rate contributes more variation to regional differences in otolith shape than does stock origin. Differences in otolith shape among ages, sexes, and year-classes were also attributable to growth rate differences. To the extent that growth rates vary more between than within stocks, otolith shape analysis can provide an easily determined measure of stock identity. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1083
Number of pages22
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1993


Dive into the research topics of 'Stock discrimination using otolith shape analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this