Morphological differences between wild and farmed Mediterranean fish
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Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) and European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) are important commercial marine fish species both for aquaculture and fisheries in the Mediterranean. It is known that farmed individuals escape from farm facilities, but the extent of escape events is not easy to report and estimate because of the difficulty to distinguish between wild and farmed individuals. In this study, significant differences provided through morphometry evidence that the cranial and body regions of seabream and seabass are different regarding their farm or wild origin at different scales. Morphological variations have been shown to be a valuable tool for describing changes in shape features. Therefore, the biomass contribution of escapees to local habitats could be determined by identifying escaped individuals from fisheries landings as a first step to assess the potential negative effects of fish farm escapees on the environment, and their influence on wild stocks and local fisheries.
KeywordsSeabream Seabass Morphometry Escapees Aquaculture Fisheries landings
The authors thank C. Doxa, D. Izquierdo-Gomez and D. Fernandez-Jover for their valuable assistance during the samplings. We also would like to thank to the marine research centre CIMAR (Excmo. Ayto. de Santa Pola and University of Alicante) for sharing their facilities in Spain. This study was financed by the EU-proyect “PreventEscape” (7th Framework European Commission, num. 226885; http://www.preventescape.eu/).
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