Genetic diversity of coastal Northwest Atlantic herring populations: implications for management

Authors

  • A. A. McPherson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS Canada B3H 4J1
    2. Marine Gene Probe Laboratory, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS Canada B3H 4J1
      §Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel.: +1 902 494 1398; fax: +1 902 494 3877; email: aaam@phys.ocean.dal.ca
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  • R. L. Stephenson,

    1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Biological Station, St Andrews NB Canada E5B 2L9
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  • P. T. O'Reilly,

    1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Biological Station, St Andrews NB Canada E5B 2L9
    2. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth NS Canada B2Y 4A2A
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  • M. W. Jones,

    1. Marine Gene Probe Laboratory, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS Canada B3H 4J1
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  • C. T. Taggart

    1. Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS Canada B3H 4J1
    2. Marine Gene Probe Laboratory, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS Canada B3H 4J1
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§Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel.: +1 902 494 1398; fax: +1 902 494 3877; email: aaam@phys.ocean.dal.ca

Abstract

Analysis of nine tetranucleotide microsatellite loci for Atlantic herring at five locations in the Northwest Atlantic including the Bras d'Or Lakes shows considerable genetic variation and significant population structure within the Coastal Nova Scotia management component, and among coastal populations and herring collected from Georges Bank. However, results are also consistent with gene flow across the Gulf of Maine. The magnitude of differentiation between the Bras d'Or Lakes sample and all others considered was sufficient to warrant further investigation. These data support the precautionary spawning-ground based management approach implemented in this area.

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