Discrimination of northern bluefin tuna from nursery areas in the Pacific Ocean using otolith chemistry Academic Article uri icon


  • Otolith chemistry of juvenile Pacific bluefin tuna Thunnus orientalis was measured to assess differences in composition among 3 nursery areas in the North Pacific Ocean: East China Sea, Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean off Shikoku. Six elements (Li, Mg, Ca, Mn, Sr and Ba) were measured in whole otoliths using solution-based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Univariate contrasts of T. orientalis otoliths collected in 1994 and 1995 indicated that concentrations of 5 elements (Li, Mg, Ca, Mn, Sr) differed among nurseries. Concentrations of Ca and Sr were significantly higher in the Pacific Ocean than in either marginal sea (East China Sea or Sea of Japan) nursery, while concentrations of Li, Mg and Mn were higher in fishes inhabiting marginal seas. Discriminant analysis showed clear separation of elemental fingerprints between Pacific Ocean and marginal sea nurseries, and to a lesser degree separation between the 2 marginal sea groups. Temporal stability of the elemental fingerprint was examined over a 3 yr period (1995 to 1997) in the East China Sea. Significant interannual trends were observed for 3 elements (Mg, Mn and Ba); however, elemental fingerprints of T. orientalis from the Pacific Ocean nursery were markedly different from all yearclasses in the East China Sea.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Rooker, J. R., Secor, D. H., Zdanowicz, V. S., & Itoh, T.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Rooker, JR||Secor, DH||Zdanowicz, VS||Itoh, T

publication date

  • August 2001