Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4153
Title: A California current bomb radiocarbon reference chronology and petrale sole age validation
Author: M. A. Haltuch, O. S. Hamel, K. R. Piner, Patrick McDonald, Craig C. Kastelle, J. Field
Publication Year: 2013
Journal: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Keywords: stock assessment,bomb radiocarbon,aging error,age validation

As petrale sole (Eopsetta jordani) is a high value groundfish harvested in the California Current (CC) proper ageing is important for its assessment and management. The first bomb radiocarbon reference chronology for the CC is completed, along with petrale sole age validation. Break-and-burn and surface ages are negatively biased by approximately 1 year and 2-3 years, respectively. Compared to previous studies the reference and validation curves are more variable and show a notable lag in the rate of radiocarbon increase during the informative years of bomb radiocarbon increase in marine systems. Radiocarbon levels in deep upwelled waters are depleted relative to surface waters and are expected to have increased radiocarbon levels later and at a slower rate than surface water radiocarbon. The variable and lagged rate of radiocarbon increase in the petrale sole data may be due to a substantial portion of the first year of life spent in areas subject to variable upwelling. The importance of using reference curves for age validation that are region and species specific is emphasized.