Discovery of a spawning area of the common Japanese conger Conger myriaster along the Kyushu-Palau Ridge in the western North Pacific

Hiroaki Kurogi, Noritaka Mochioka, Makoto Okazaki, Masanori Takahashi, Michael J. Miller, Katsumi Tsukamoto, Daisuke Ambe, Satoshi Katayama, Seinen Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The common Japanese conger Conger myriaster is an important commercial coastal fisheries species in East Asia, but its spawning area has not been determined. A larval sampling survey was conducted in September 2008 along 136°E between 13°N and 22°N, which roughly followed the Kyushu-Palau Ridge in the western North Pacific. Twenty larval specimens were confirmed to be C. myriaster using DNA analysis. Two were newly hatched larvae (preleptocephali) 5. 8 and 7. 8 mm in total length (TL), which were caught at 17°N. The 5. 8 mm TL larva was estimated to be 3-4 days after hatching, the youngest preleptocephalus (i. e., the earliest stage) of this species ever collected. Eighteen other leptocephali were caught at 18°N and 21°N, and these ranged from 18. 6 to 40. 0 mm TL. Based on these collections, we discerned that there is a spawning area of C. myriaster in the area along the Kyushu-Palau Ridge approximately 380 km south of Okinotorishima Island. Similar to the Japanese eel spawning area along the West Mariana Ridge, the Kyushu-Palau Ridge may play an important role as a landmark of the spawning area. The discovery of this offshore spawning area should lead us to a better understanding of the recruitment mechanisms of C. myriaster, and help to facilitate future international management efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-532
Number of pages8
JournalFisheries science
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science

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