Theme session H

Looking backwards to move ahead: how the wider application of new technologies to interpret scale, otolith, statolith and other biomineralised age-registering structures could improve management of natural resources
​​​​Thursday 22 September 15:00—18:30 in Alfa
Friday 23 September 09:00—17:00​ in Alfa
Conveners: ​
Ewan Hunter  ​​​(UK)
Vladimir Laptikhovsky ​​​(UK)
Philip Hollyman ​​​(UK​)​

In recent years, technical and analytical developments in sclerochronology based on the reading of otoliths, statoliths, spines, vertebrae, and other age-registering accretionary hard tissues have contributed increasingly to our ability to assess the life histories of a wide range of marine organisms, including fish, cephalopods, shellfish, and corals. The knowledge gained from such studies, primarily obtained through isotopic and trace element analyses, has important implications for the assessment and management of populations and habitats: new insights are being gained into the biology of species that are data-limited, while conventions are being challenged in species that are data-rich. 

Moving beyond single species and other niche analyses, sclerochronology has the potential to provide a much deeper understanding of the interaction between marine life and its environment. Such an understanding is crucial at a time when fisheries management evolves to take account of changing climate and the prevailing environmental conditions. Funding constraints and the concomitant reduced field survey opportunities under austerity make the full and exhaustive utilization of new and historical data collection time-series paramount. This highlights the need to broaden and integrate current advances in sclerochronology to invigorate their applications throughout fisheries and environmental sciences.

This session aims to broaden understanding, cross-fertilise, and facilitate the wider uptake of state-of-the-art current approaches to sclerochronology. It will address assessment and management applications, from species-specific ageing methods and migration studies, to analytical stock assessments using data collected using novel techniques. The session is cross-disciplinary and intended to include technical and ecological studies which emphasize new methods and approaches to ageing and use of aging data. We wish to encourage studies from a broad range of species and taxa, including seabirds and marine mammals, teleost and elasmobranch fishes, cephalopods, gastropod and bivalve molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, and other invertebrates.

Papers are welcome on the following topics:

  • Use of new techniques to assess age or life-history events
  • Ecological studies based on assessments of age or environmental signals
  • Insights into early life history
  • Assessment of climate change effects on species or populations
  • Age studies of environmentally important species for which age data are poor or non-existent​
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Theme session H

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