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RNA/DNA and derived condition indices for anchovy and hake larvae as relevant information for comprehensive fisheries management
Marina V. Diaz, Marina Do Souto, Stefanía Cohen, Gustavo J. Macchi

The nutritional condition of anchovy and Argentine hake larvae in the Northern Patagonian Frontal System (NPFS) area was studied in the austral spring of 2018. We hypothesized that this area provides adequate features for larval growth and survival. The RNA/DNA index (RD) and its derived index of growth performance were employed. A critical RD value for starvation was calculated. The percentage of individuals under starvation and in optimal growth conditions was calculated. Because the period of study was the beginning of the hake spawning period, a limited number of larvae of this species were collected. The RD index showed a significant increase throughout larval ontogeny for anchovy larvae, being 1.84±1.39 (N=739) and 2.77±1.50 (N=220) in the pre-flexion and flexion stages respectively. These values were significantly higher at stations close to the NPFS and at the upper level of the water column. No differences were observed throughout the day. The area inside the NPFS showed a lower proportion of starved anchovy and a higher proportion of individuals in optimal growth, standing as a favourable nursing area. For hake larvae, the average RD was 1.64±0.55 (N=15). The great sensitivity of the RD index makes it a powerful tool for assessing the probability of larval survival and posterior recruitment into fisheries and allowing the identification of favourable rearing areas for these important species for fisheries.

Keywords: nutritional condition; RNA/DNA index; ichthyoplankton; Engraulis anchoita; Merluccius hubbsi; North Patagonian Frontal System
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 86(4) : 49-49 Back PDF
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