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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 65(10)

A novel method for the age estimation of Saddletail snapper (Lutjanus malabaricus) using Fourier Transform-near infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy

B. B. Wedding A, A. J. Forrest B D, C. Wright C, S. Grauf A, P. Exley B and S. E. Poole B

A Rapid Assessment Unit, Crop and Food Science, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia.
B Crop and Food Science, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Coopers Plains, Qld 4108, Australia.
C Rapid Assessment Unit, Horticulture and Forestry Science, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Mareeba, Qld 4880, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: andrew.forrest@qld.gov.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 65(10) 894-900 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13244
Submitted: 16 September 2013  Accepted: 15 January 2014   Published: 4 July 2014

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Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy was investigated as a potential rapid method of estimating fish age from whole otoliths of Saddletail snapper (Lutjanus malabaricus). Whole otoliths from 209 Saddletail snapper were extracted and the NIR spectral characteristics were acquired over a spectral range of 800–2780 nm. Partial least-squares models (PLS) were developed from the diffuse reflectance spectra and reference-validated age estimates (based on traditional sectioned otolith increments) to predict age for independent otolith samples. Predictive models developed for a specific season and geographical location performed poorly against a different season and geographical location. However, overall PLS regression statistics for predicting a combined population incorporating both geographic location and season variables were: coefficient of determination (R2) = 0.94, root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) = 1.54 for age estimation, indicating that Saddletail age could be predicted within 1.5 increment counts. This level of accuracy suggests the method warrants further development for Saddletail snapper and may have potential for other fish species. A rapid method of fish age estimation could have the potential to reduce greatly both costs of time and materials in the assessment and management of commercial fisheries.

Additional keywords: Arafura Sea, fish ageing, otolith increments, saddletail snapper.


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