ICES Annual Science Conference 2015

Theme Session T

Practical application of Genetic Stock Identification for the conservation, management, and restoration of diadromous fish species

Dennis Ensing (UK)
Philip McGinnity (Ireland)
​​​​​​​​​Contact conveners​

Genetic Stock Identification (GSI) is applied widely to salmon and other diadromous fish populations. Current applications include identification of contributing stocks to mixed-stock salmon fisheries. International management is particularly required in the high seas where stocks from Europe and North America mix, and ICES provides advice to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). There is a need to assimilate the outputs from GSI studies into a usable format for managers of diadromous fish resources, both nationally and also for the provision of advice to ICES, NASCO, EIFAAC, etc. 

A significant advance has been made in genetic stock identification, both in terms of methods and in numbers of stocks with genetic baselines. The distribution and migrations of salmon post-smolts has now been described using GSI from the SALSEA Merge and SALSEA North America studies between 2009 and 2011. The Kolarctic Project (a joint GSI study on salmon from Scandinavia and Russia) is complete and the implications for mixed-stock fisheries are being explored.

Coordination and synthesis of the management implications is now being sought by managers, scientists, and conservation organizations. This will require an overview of GSI studies with implications for management of stocks. It is also important that the limitations of GSI probability assignments are understood in applied assessments.

Finally, both biodiversity and stock productivity are important components for identifying the conservation status of stocks; they are not, however, properly integrated into practical management assessments or advice, particularly regarding rare, marginal, or poorly known diadromous or other migratory fish.​​

The session invites contributions that include examples of GSI studies integrated with: 

  • Management advice and policy decisions including EU and other directives
  • Management of mixed-stock fisheries
  • Application to restocking or enhancement/restoration projects
  • Biodiversity of marginal, rare, and sensitive species conservation (shads, lampreys, charr, coregonids, etc.)
  • Cause of changes in populations and stock composition over longer time periods from archival tissue samples
  • Population bottlenecks and population viability
  • Compensatory programmes and live gene banking for long-term management of critically endangered stocks
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism genetic markers (SNPs) and improving analytical resolution to finer geographical scales and stock discrimination
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​Kalvebod Brygge. Photo: Sofie Oestergaard.

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Theme Session T

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