University of Southampton
Supervisor(s): Dr Clive Trueman, Dr Ewan Hunte
Data records from free-ranging plaice tagged with electronic data storage tags (DSTs) will be used to provide an independent measure of location with which to compare trace element and stable isotope composition of concomitant otolith material. Also, the physical and chemical environments experienced during the plaice lifecycle will be analysed and used to construct predictive maps of otolith composition.
Otolith microchemistry provides a promising ‘natural tag’ with which to retrospectively track movements of wild fish, but it has yet to be applied widely to fully marine species. The project aims to provide in situ validation of this technique and produce predictive maps that could ultimately remove the need for extensive otolith reference collections for future studies in the North Sea. Also, the information on plaice spatial dynamics derived from this study will be considered both in terms of implications for current management strategies, and how data derived from otolith microchemistry might best be applied to marine fisheries management in the future.