Are growth and density quantitative indicators of essential fish habitat quality? An application to the common sole Solea solea nursery grounds
|Author(s)||Gilliers Camille1, Le Pape Olivier2, Desaunay Yves3, Morin Jocelyne4, Guerault Daniel2, Amara Rachid5|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : Univ Lille 1, Lab Econum Ecotox, F-56655 Villeneuve Dascq, France.
2 : Agrocampus Rennes, Département Halieutique, 65 rue de St Brieuc CS 84215, 35042 Rennes, FRANCE
3 : IFREMER, EHM, Nantes 03, France.
4 : IFREMER, F-14520 Port En Bessin, France.
5 : Univ Littoral Cote dOpale, MREN, F-62930 Wimereux, France.
|Source||Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (0272-7714) (Elsevier), 2006-08 , Vol. 69 , N. 1-2 , P. 96-106|
|WOS© Times Cited||78|
|Keyword(s)||Flatfish juvenile, Essential fish habitat quality, Quantitative bio indicators|
|Abstract||Bio-indicators were measured on juvenile fish to assess the quality of eight coastal and estuarine nursery grounds in the Eastern English Channel and in the Bay of Biscay during 3 years. Growth (size and otolith daily increment width), body condition (morphometric index) and abundance of juvenile common soles were analysed together with xenobiotic concentrations (heavy metals and organic contaminants). Condition indices displayed important variations and did not allow relevant estimation of environmental quality. On the contrary, growth and density indicators showed good steadiness above years but varied among sites. In spite of difficulties of interpreting these indicators on such a meso-scale approach, analyses highlighted the estuaries of Seine and Gironde. In these nursery areas, the levels of contamination were especially high, and the combination of fish growth performances and density was significantly lower than in other sites. The combination of these variables appears to provide reliable indicators of habitat quality and anthropogenic pressure on nursery grounds, especially highlighting contaminated areas. Such indicators may thus contribute to improve assessment of environmental quality of essential fish habitats with the aim of a sustainable management of fisheries resources. A study at a different scale, from this meso-scale nursery approach with more precise analyses, on local habitats, will nevertheless be necessary to optimize the relevance of these indicators for the assessment of essential fish habitat quality. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.|