Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4685
Title: Fish Hatchery Genetic Management Techniques: Integrating Theory with Implementation
Author: K. Fisch, Christine C. Kozfkay, Jamie A. Ivy, Oliver A. Ryder, Robin S. Waples
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: North American Journal of Aquaculture
Keywords: genetic diversity,genetic management,inbreeding,pedigree,kinship

Artificial propagation of many fish species in hatcheries has been conducted on a large scale for several decades. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in conservation hatcheries that aim not only to produce fish for supplementing wild populations, but also to preserve the genetic diversity and integrity of threatened or endangered species.  Considerations for the latter take into account maximizing genetic diversity and effective population size while minimizing inbreeding and adaptation to captivity.  Several studies document the theoretical implementation of captive management strategies designed to achieve these goals. However, the practical application of many of these management strategies to conservation hatcheries remains challenging, as the majority of the guidelines were developed for small zoo populations. The aims of this review are 1. To survey current fish hatchery managers to assess current hatchery practices and goals; 2. To present available management strategies for conservation hatcheries that may minimize genetic effects of artificial propagation; and 3. To present genetic management options and their tradeoffs to managers developing fish conservation hatcheries.  The results of the survey suggest that the majority of responding conservation and non-conservation hatcheries use random broodstock selection and pairing techniques, while still valuing the importance of maintaining genetic diversity, effective population size and minimizing inbreeding.  This manuscript reviews the application of small population management techniques to conservation hatcheries in an effort to increase their utility in recovery plans for endangered fish species.

Theme: Recovery, Rebuilding and Sustainability of Marine and Anadromous Species
Foci: Maximize effectiveness and minimize impacts of artificial propagation in recovery, rebuilding and stock sustainability
Investigate ecological and socio-economic effects of alternative management strategies or governance structures.
Official Citation:

Fisch, K.M., C.C. Kozfkay, J.A. Ivy, O.A. Ryder, and R.S. Waples.  2015.  Fish hatchery genetic management techniques: integrating theory with implementation.  N. Am. J. Aquaculture 77:343-357.