Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 209
Title: Evaluation of ageing accuracy of bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis) rockfish using bomb radiocarbon
Author: K. Piner, J. R. Wallace, O. S. Hamel, R. Mikus
Publication Year: 2006
Journal: Fisheries Research
Pages: 200-206

The accuracy of bocaccio rockfish age assignments was evaluated using radiocarbon levels measured in otoliths collected from fish taken off the coast of Washington state (USA). Otoliths from 24 randomly selected fish with estimated birth years from 1950 to 1977, based on paired otolith age estimates, were used in this study. The level of radiocarbon measured in the core of each otolith was compared to a reference radiocarbon chronology based on radiocarbon levels in otoliths from known-age Pacific halibut. The degree of graphical phase correspondence between the two series was sufficient to support the hypothesis that the annuli were formed yearly in bocaccio otoliths but were somewhat difficult to identify. Statistical analysis of the ageing errors could not document a bias in production ageing of bocaccio. Pre-bomb radiocarbon levels measured in otolith cores confirm that bocaccio can live at least 37 years.