Finfish Sampling for Growth Monitoring

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This project forms part of SPC’s ‘Monitoring the Vulnerability and Adaptation of Coastal Fisheries to Climate Change’ project, funded by AusAID under Australia’s International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ICCAI), which aims to detect possible changes in coastal fisheries connected to climate rather than to other pressures on the resource, such as overfishing and habitat degradation.

Specifically, the finfish sampling project is designed to develop a baseline of growth rates of key coastal finfish species at pilot sites across the western Pacific Ocean, and explore the role that temperature plays in mediating growth. 

A biological sampling training was held in Majuro (3–13 July 2012) that trained four of MIMRA’s fisheries officers to collect biological data to provide a better understanding of the biology of selected important reef fish species. The training included lectures on basic fisheries biology and the importance of biological information such as length-weight relationship, age and growth of fish, maturity stage, and gonadal index for the management of fisheries. Hands-on training was also provided on identification of fish using meristic characters, sexing fish, and the extraction of gonads and otoliths (organs in the inner ear of fish). 

To support these data collection activities, SPC provided some basic data collection equipment such as measuring boards, dissecting kits, and sample containers. Following the biological sampling training, SPC organized attachment training on the processing of otoliths for determining age (i.e. Back-calculation of fish growth and age determination using otoliths).

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