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Research tools to investigate movements, migrations, and life history of sturgeons (Acipenseridae), with an emphasis on marine-oriented populations.

Nelson TC, Doukakis P, Lindley ST, Schreier AD, Hightower JE, Hildebrand LR, Whitlock RE, Webb MA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Examples are provided regarding what the applications have revealed regarding movement and migration and how this information can be used for conservation and management.A more complete picture of migration is available for North American sturgeon species, while European and Asian species, which are among the most endangered sturgeons, are less understood.We put forth recommendations that encourage the support of stewardship initiatives to build awareness and provide key information for population assessment and monitoring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Worldwide, sturgeons (Acipenseridae) are among the most endangered fishes due to habitat degradation, overfishing, and inherent life history characteristics (long life span, late maturation, and infrequent spawning). As most sturgeons are anadromous, a considerable portion of their life history occurs in estuarine and marine environments where they may encounter unique threats (e.g., interception in non-target fisheries). Of the 16 marine-oriented species, 12 are designated as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and these include species commercially harvested. We review important research tools and techniques (tagging, electronic tagging, genetics, microchemistry, observatory) and discuss the comparative utility of these techniques to investigate movements, migrations, and life-history characteristics of sturgeons. Examples are provided regarding what the applications have revealed regarding movement and migration and how this information can be used for conservation and management. Through studies that include Gulf (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) and Green Sturgeon (A. medirostris), we illustrate what is known about well-studied species and then explore lesser-studied species. A more complete picture of migration is available for North American sturgeon species, while European and Asian species, which are among the most endangered sturgeons, are less understood. We put forth recommendations that encourage the support of stewardship initiatives to build awareness and provide key information for population assessment and monitoring.

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Illustration of the preferred location of PIT tag application on a juvenile White Sturgeon.The PIT tag is injected just beneath the skin, about 1 cm behind the head plate, on the left side of the dorsal scute line. Photo: Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.
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pone-0071552-g004: Illustration of the preferred location of PIT tag application on a juvenile White Sturgeon.The PIT tag is injected just beneath the skin, about 1 cm behind the head plate, on the left side of the dorsal scute line. Photo: Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.

Mentions: Internal (PIT) tags – A popular and effective tag for sturgeon is the PIT tag, a small, uniquely coded electronic tag that is applied internally via a hand-held applicator (syringe). Long-term retention rates for PIT tags are typically above 95% [69], [73], [75]. Popular PIT tag insertion locations are in the body cavity, base of pectoral fin or dorsal fin (or between base of dorsal fin and lateral line), and behind head plate (left or right of dorsal line). The position behind the head plate (Figure 4) has gained popularity in recent years due to lower tag loss rates and also based on concerns regarding potential human consumption of tagged sturgeon (tags in the “head” area are less likely to be consumed [68]). PIT tags used for sturgeon are typically 2 mm in diameter and 10–14 mm in length. Following application, there is no visible external indication that the fish has been tagged; the fish must be “scanned” with a hand-held electronic PIT tag reader (scanner) to determine if the fish has been tagged. PIT tag readers are typically battery powered, and display the tag number on a small screen. Tags can be detected with most hand-held tag readers from a distance up to about 20 cm, and the signal can be detected through water, flesh, etc.


Research tools to investigate movements, migrations, and life history of sturgeons (Acipenseridae), with an emphasis on marine-oriented populations.

Nelson TC, Doukakis P, Lindley ST, Schreier AD, Hightower JE, Hildebrand LR, Whitlock RE, Webb MA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Illustration of the preferred location of PIT tag application on a juvenile White Sturgeon.The PIT tag is injected just beneath the skin, about 1 cm behind the head plate, on the left side of the dorsal scute line. Photo: Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3750015&req=5

pone-0071552-g004: Illustration of the preferred location of PIT tag application on a juvenile White Sturgeon.The PIT tag is injected just beneath the skin, about 1 cm behind the head plate, on the left side of the dorsal scute line. Photo: Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.
Mentions: Internal (PIT) tags – A popular and effective tag for sturgeon is the PIT tag, a small, uniquely coded electronic tag that is applied internally via a hand-held applicator (syringe). Long-term retention rates for PIT tags are typically above 95% [69], [73], [75]. Popular PIT tag insertion locations are in the body cavity, base of pectoral fin or dorsal fin (or between base of dorsal fin and lateral line), and behind head plate (left or right of dorsal line). The position behind the head plate (Figure 4) has gained popularity in recent years due to lower tag loss rates and also based on concerns regarding potential human consumption of tagged sturgeon (tags in the “head” area are less likely to be consumed [68]). PIT tags used for sturgeon are typically 2 mm in diameter and 10–14 mm in length. Following application, there is no visible external indication that the fish has been tagged; the fish must be “scanned” with a hand-held electronic PIT tag reader (scanner) to determine if the fish has been tagged. PIT tag readers are typically battery powered, and display the tag number on a small screen. Tags can be detected with most hand-held tag readers from a distance up to about 20 cm, and the signal can be detected through water, flesh, etc.

Bottom Line: Examples are provided regarding what the applications have revealed regarding movement and migration and how this information can be used for conservation and management.A more complete picture of migration is available for North American sturgeon species, while European and Asian species, which are among the most endangered sturgeons, are less understood.We put forth recommendations that encourage the support of stewardship initiatives to build awareness and provide key information for population assessment and monitoring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Worldwide, sturgeons (Acipenseridae) are among the most endangered fishes due to habitat degradation, overfishing, and inherent life history characteristics (long life span, late maturation, and infrequent spawning). As most sturgeons are anadromous, a considerable portion of their life history occurs in estuarine and marine environments where they may encounter unique threats (e.g., interception in non-target fisheries). Of the 16 marine-oriented species, 12 are designated as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and these include species commercially harvested. We review important research tools and techniques (tagging, electronic tagging, genetics, microchemistry, observatory) and discuss the comparative utility of these techniques to investigate movements, migrations, and life-history characteristics of sturgeons. Examples are provided regarding what the applications have revealed regarding movement and migration and how this information can be used for conservation and management. Through studies that include Gulf (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) and Green Sturgeon (A. medirostris), we illustrate what is known about well-studied species and then explore lesser-studied species. A more complete picture of migration is available for North American sturgeon species, while European and Asian species, which are among the most endangered sturgeons, are less understood. We put forth recommendations that encourage the support of stewardship initiatives to build awareness and provide key information for population assessment and monitoring.

Show MeSH