The relation between otolith size and larval size at hatching for Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua

Issue:

Author(s): 
Miller, Thomas J., Tomasz Herra, and William C. Leggett
Cover date: 
1999
Pages: 
294-305
Abstract: 

We examined the relationship between otolith size and larval standard length (SL) at hatching for Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, on the Scotian Shelf. We found a weak correlation between SL and area-based and radius-based measures of size of both lapillar and sagittal otoliths. Correlations of SL with the area of the lapillus were strongest. However, the predictive ability of all relationships was low. For example, the range of predicted SL at hatching of larvae with lapilli of average area included more than 90% of observed SLs in newly hatched larvae from the Scotian Shelf collected over two spawning seasons. These results suggest that otolith-based attempts to backcalculate the size of cod larvae may be prone to substantial error if sizes of particularly young larvae are estimated. We recommend that, where possible, stock- and season-specific estimates of the relationship between the area of the lapillus and larval size at hatching be used in back-calculation techniques.