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Genetic structuring in Atlantic haddock contrasts with current management regimes

Vitenskapelig artikkel
ICES Journal of Marine Science
Eksterne nettsted
Paul Ragnar Berg
Paul R. Berg, Per E. Jorde, Kevin A. Glover, Geir Dahle, John B. Taggart, Knut Korsbrekke, Gjert E. Dingsør, Jon E. Skjæraasen, Peter J. Wright, Steven X. Cadrin, Halvor Knutsen, Jon-Ivar Westgaard


The advent of novel genetic methods has made it possible to investigate population structure and connectivity in mobile marine fish species: knowledge of which is essential to ensure a sustainable fishery. Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is a highly exploited marine teleost distributed along the coast and continental shelf on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. However, little is known about its population structure. Here, we present the first study using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to assess the genetic population structure of haddock at multiple geographic scales, from the trans-Atlantic to the local (fjord) level. Genotyping 138 SNP loci in 1329 individuals from 19 locations across the North Atlantic revealed three main genetic clusters, consisting of a Northwest Atlantic cluster, a Northeast Arctic cluster, and a Northeast Atlantic cluster. We also observed a genetically distinct fjord population and a pattern of isolation by distance in the Northeast Atlantic. Our results contrast with the current management regime for this species in the Northeast Atlantic, as we found structure within some management areas. The study adds to the growing recognition of population structuring in marine organisms in general, and fishes in particular, and is of clear relevance for the management of haddock in the Northeast Atlantic.