Natal origin of Pacific bluefin tuna from the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. Academic Article uri icon


  • Natal origin of subadult (age-1) Pacific bluefin tuna (PBT, Thunnus orientalis) from the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) was determined using natural tracers in ear stones (otoliths). Age-0 PBT collected from the two known spawning areas in the western Pacific Ocean (East China Sea, Sea of Japan) were used to establish baseline signatures from otolith cores over 4 years (2014-2017) based on a suite of trace elements (Li, Mg, Mn, Sr, Zn and Ba). Distinct chemical signatures existed in the otolith cores of age-0 PBT collected from the two spawning areas, with overall classification accuracy ranging 73-93% by year. Subadult PBT collected in the CCLME over the following 4 years (2015-2018) were then age-class matched to baselines using mixed-stock analysis. Natal origin of trans-Pacific migrants in the CCLME ranged 43-78% from the East China Sea and 22-57% from the Sea of Japan, highlighting the importance of both spawning areas for PBT in the CCLME. This study provides the first estimates on the natal origin of subadult PBT in this ecosystem using otolith chemistry and expands upon the application of these natural tracers for population connectivity studies for this species.

published proceedings

  • Biol Lett

altmetric score

  • 6.2

author list (cited authors)

  • Wells, R., Mohan, J. A., Dewar, H., Rooker, J. R., Tanaka, Y., Snodgrass, O. E., ... Ohshimo, S.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Wells, RJ David||Mohan, John A||Dewar, Heidi||Rooker, Jay R||Tanaka, Yosuke||Snodgrass, Owyn E||Kohin, Suzanne||Miller, Nathan R||Ohshimo, Seiji

publication date

  • February 2020