Levels of connectivity between longnose skate (Dipturus oxyrinchus) in the Mediterranean Sea and the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean
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Sequencing of a partial region of the mitochondrial control region has revealed no shared haplotypes between longnose skate (Dipturus oxyrinchus L.) sampled in the north-eastern Atlantic (Norway and Rockall) and those sampled in the Mediterranean (Mallorca). Bayesian estimation of the migration rate suggests little, if any, gene flow occurs between the regions and that the populations separated 20,000 years ago. These conclusions provide a genetic basis for long-standing observations, based on egg capsule and adult size, that longnose skate in the Mediterranean may be genetically isolated from other stocks. This result has important conservation implications for the threatened longnose skate.
KeywordsElasmobranch Marine fishes Population Management Genetic differences Conservation
We are grateful to MEDITS survey programme (IEO Mallorca), and F. Neat for supporting sample collection. This work was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Oceans 2025 Strategic Research Programme Theme 6 (Science for Sustainable Marine Resources) in which DWS and MJG are Principal Investigators. Additional funding was provided by the Fishmongers Company. MJG was supported by a Great Western Research Fellowship and DWS by an MBA Senior Research Fellowship.
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