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Roussel E.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory | Crec'Hriou R.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory | Lenfant P.,CNRS Host-Pathogen-Environment Interactions Laboratory | Mader J.,AZTI | Planes S.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory
Journal of Plankton Research | Year: 2010

Fish egg and larval assemblages, and the factors that drive them in the nearshore environment remain largely unknown. In this study, two sampling methods were used to assess the relative influences of space, time and environment on ichthyoplankton communities at nearshore stations, near the Cerbre-Banyuls Marine Protected Area (France), during spring and summer 2003. Resulting data sets were analysed by variation partitioning, with redundancy analysis to estimate variance fractions based on adjusted R2. A total of 42 environmental descriptors were considered for the analyses. The descriptors that best explained the variance of the data set were selected to build models. Analyses of the relative influences show that the environmental conditions drive egg and larval density variations, specifically depth, currents and wind directions. However, time and space combined with environmental factors also contribute substantially to ichthyoplankton variability. The combined effect of space and environment is likely to be generated by the influence of the coast profile on ichthyoplankton from shallower water. At deeper stations, wind and current fluctuations result in a combined effect of time and environment in relation to eggs. These results strongly suggest that the nearshore area influence is between 25 and 30 m depth and is separated from the inner continental shelf. We propose the hypothesis that the rocky shore ecosystem is favourable for coastal accumulation and/or retention of ichthyoplankton. © The Author 2010.

The new tool, called NEAT — Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool — is designed to support the assessment of marine areas by the environmental authorities of EU Member States, and also by the Regional Seas Conventions and for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. It integrates a previously released tool that includes over 500 indicators used or being developed by European Member States and can be used for all types of environmental assessment. "NEAT allows us to assess the environmental status of European seas in an integrative way," says Dr. Borja of AZTI in Spain, an expert on marine biodiversity and coordinator of the European research project DEVOTES. "This is the result of collaborative effort of 23 partners, distributed across 14 countries, after four years of research in the Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas" says Borja. "Our research is important for improving the understanding of the effects of human activities on marine biodiversity, as well as variations due to climate change." "Marine health assessments are complex," says Borja, "but this tool makes the task much easier." According to Torsten Berg from MariLim in Germany, who is one of the authors of the software, "some of these tools can be difficult to use, so we worked hard to make a user-friendly interface." Using NEAT is simple, users first select the regional sea in which thee want to assess the status, and then choose the appropriate indicators, habitats and ecosystem components for a specific area within the regional sea. "NEAT determines the uncertainty of indicator values, so you can evaluate the confidence of your assessment. The more indicators and data you use, the better the assessment will be," highlights Jacob Carstensen from Aarhus University, an environmental statistician who worked on the development of the tool. But the very best of NEAT is its flexibility, "users can customize each step of the assessment, and the assessment better reflects the reality of the area," adds Jesper Andersen, from NIVA Denmark Water Research, who is one of the designers of the idea, "NEAT is so versatile that it can also be used for other types of environmental assessment, not just marine biodiversity." So, it could also be used by firms and consultancies that carry out all types of environmental assessment. NEAT and its guidelines are freely available from the DEVOTES Web site: www.devotes-project.eu/neat. In the coming months, NEAT will be enhanced with even more features and possibilities to perform a tailor-made biodiversity assessment. Updates will be released regularly. Project members are now disseminating the tool and organizing training workshops in member states and for regional seas conventions. "We have already demonstrated the tool to authorities in Portugal and Spain," says Alice Newton, from NILU in Norway and the University of Algarve in Portugal, "and it has been well-received by the Regional Seas Conventions." The DEVOTES project will be featured by the Euronews TV channel in June 2016 and will hold a conference in Brussels in October for key stakeholders and leading scientists. The theme of the conference is "Marine Biodiversity, the key to healthy and productive seas." Explore further: Clean seas by 2020: Scientists identify main environmental 'stressors' in the Mediterranean and Black Seas

Cuevas N.,AZTI | Zorita I.,AZTI | Franco J.,AZTI | Costa P.M.,New University of Lisbon | Larreta J.,AZTI
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2016

Multi-organ (liver, gills, kidney and spleen) histopathology in gobies (Pomatoschistus spp.) together with metal bioaccumulation and sediment contamination levels were studied during 2011-2013 for estuarine environmental risk assessment in the Ibaizabal estuary (SE Bay of Biscay). Results indicate that sediments were moderately-strongly impacted by metals and organic compounds, suggesting that adverse biological effects could be likely. Similar metal bioaccumulation levels and multi-organ histopathological indices were detected in gobies collected along the estuary, indicating a similar affection degree. Accordingly, both metal bioaccumulation levels and histopathological indices decreased in gobies collected in 2013 reflecting a lower impact on fish health status. Liver, gills and kidney presented higher histopathological damage than spleen. Fat vacuolation of hepatocytes, lamellar fusion and melanomacrophage centers were the most prevalent hepatic, branchial and renal alterations, respectively. These histopathological changes may indicate exposure to non-specific toxicants. Nevertheless, the influence of other environmental variables should not be excluded as causative factors. No severe pathological traits were registered in gonads, suggesting undisturbed reproductive status. In conclusion, the use of multi-organ histopathology in gobies in combination with metal bioaccumulation and sediment contamination levels, contribute to a better understanding of sub-lethal effects and a more accurate environmental risk assessment in the Ibaizabal estuary. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

So far, the genetic methods for establishing proper DNA identification used to take several days to produce some conclusive results. This innovative methodology is of great interest for the canning industry and is a tool that can help to authenticate what it says on the label. Changes in production processes have led to a revolution in the canning industry, since canned products are produced in many cases using imported frozen tuna fillets. These skinned fillets offer tremendous advantages in terms of productivity and yield of the processes, yet on occasions, in view of the difficulty in distinguishing between species visually, errors may occur in the labelling of canned products. The DNA system developed by the Molecular Biology Laboratory at AZTI-Tecnalia for detecting various species of canned and processed tuna, has received accreditation from the National Accreditation Body (ENAC). This methodology not only offers speed in identifying species but also reliable, conclusive results. So this new method denotes a great opportunity to guarantee that products are properly labelled and to ensure quality for consumers. Authentication methodologies for canned products are generally based on DNA fragment detection in any kind of processed fish sample, including canned fish. These methods, known as genetic methods, are always very reliable but the downside is that it takes several days to obtain a conclusive result. However, AZTI-Tecnalia's innovative system based on fluorescent probe detection enables an accurate result within 24 hours. The Molecular Biology Laboratory at AZTI-Tecnalia continues developing new methods to authenticate several marine species in order to provide effective tools for the fishing and canning industry to ensure their traceability systems. DNA technology enables specialists at the R&D centre to genetically identify Bay of Biscay anchovy and albacore tuna, among other fish. They also provide systems for authentication of Arabica coffee, cheeses under protected designation of origin, juices, and blends of meat, among other foodstuffs.

Cosgrove R.,Bim Bon Inc. | Arregi I.,AZTI | Brophy D.,Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway | Arrizabalaga H.,AZTI | And 2 more authors.
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2010

An archival tagging programme in the Northeast Atlantic would assist in testing the hypothesis that subpopulations of juvenile albacore exist within the region and provide important information on fish behaviour in relation to environmental variables. No information was available, however, on the ability of juvenile albacore to carry costly implanted archival tags, or on rates of tag recovery. A simulated archival tagging study on albacore using simulated or "dummy" archival tags was therefore carried out in the Bay of Biscay from 2005 to 2008. In all, 353 fish were tagged and released, and 9 fish (2.55) were recaptured. A comprehensive ICCAT database of conventionally tagged fish in the Northeast Atlantic was also analysed to determine whether optimal conditions at the time of release could be identified and used to boost recovery rates in future tagging programmes. A binary logistic regression model using a response variable with two possible outcomes, recaptured or not recaptured, was developed, then tested on two datasets to deal with association between variables. Effort and fishing gear were significant in the first dataset, and length class and fishing gear in the second. The last two factors can be manipulated, and a recapture rate of >5 was predicted if derived optimal tagging conditions are followed in future tagging programmes. © 2010 United States Government, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

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