Age validation of quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger) using bomb radiocarbon

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Kerr, L. A., Andrews, A. H., Munk, K., Coale, K. H., Frantz, B. R., Cailliet, G. M., & Brown, T. A. (2005). Age validation of quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger) using bomb radiocarbon. Fishery Bulletin, 103(1), 97-107.
TitleAge validation of quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger) using bomb radiocarbon
AuthorsL. Kerr, A. Andrews, K. Munk, K. Coale, B. Frantz, G. Cailliet, T. Brown
AbstractRockfishes (Sebastes spp.) support one of the most economically important fisheries of the Pacific Northwest and it is essential for sustainable management that age estimation procedures be validated for these species. Atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices during the 1950s and 1960s created a global radiocarbon (14C) signal in the ocean environment that scientists have identified as a useful tracer and chronological marker in natural systems. In this study, we first demonstrated that fewer samples are necessary for age validation using the bomb-generated 14C signal by emphasizing the utility of the time-specific marker created by the initial rise of bomb-14C. Second, the bomb-generated 14C signal retained in fish otoliths was used to validate the age and age estimation method of the quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger) in the waters of southeast Alaska. Radiocarbon values from the first year's growth of quillback rockfish otoliths were plotted against estimated birth year to produce a 14C time series spanning 1950 to 1985. The initial rise in bomb-14C from prebomb levels (∼ -90‰) occurred in 1959 [±1 year] and 14C levels rose relatively rapidly to peak Δ14C values in 1967 (+105.4‰) and subsequently declined through the end of the time series in 1985 (+15.4‰). The agreement between the year of initial rise of 14C levels from the quillback rockfish time series and the chronology determined for the waters of southeast Alaska from yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus) otoliths validated the aging method for the quillback rockfish. The concordance of the entire quillback rockfish 14C time series with the yelloweye rockfish time series demonstrated the effectiveness of this age validation technique, confirmed the longevity of the quillback rockfish up to a minimum of 43 years, and strongly confirms higher age estimates of up to 90 years.
JournalFishery Bulletin
Start page97
End page107
Subjectsage determination, carbon isotope, fish, fishery management, longevity, methodology, stock assessment, Alaska, North America, United States, Western Hemisphere, World, Carpiodes cyprinus, Scorpaenidae, Sebastes, Sebastes maliger, Sebastes ruberrimus, Vertebrata
NoteCited By (since 1996):22, Fish and Fisheries, CODEN: FSYBA