Publication details.


Author(s):R.L. Radtke, B. Morales-Nin
Title:Mediterranean juvenile bluefin tuna: life history patterns
Abstract:As there is a lack of information on the growth and migrations of bluefin tuna, information about them was gathered using the structural and chemical characteristics of their otoliths and mercury levels in body tissues as indicators of physiological and habitat characteristics. The otoliths of juvenile tuna caught in the Spanish Mediterranean littoral were studied. Otolith increments, assumed to be formed daily, were enumerated. Measurements by wavelength dispersive electron microprobe confirmed the presence of strontium in otolith tissue, and an inverse relationship between strontium/calcium (Sr/Ca) concentration ratio and temperature is suggested. Electron microprobe analyses combined with daily increment analyses of otoliths provided life history profiles for individual fish. Additonal Sr/Ca concentration ratio data on fish supported the idea that Sr/Ca ratios can provide information on the environmental history of individual fish. Body concentrations of mercury were related to otolith analyses to suggest age structure, critical life history periods, growth environment, stock struture, food web position, and migration history. The techniques applied present an innovative to management-related problems, and the combination of chemical analyses with structural analyses promises to expand our knowledge of the life history of migratory fishes.

Related staff

  • Beatriz Morales Nin