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Repeatability of fin length measurements using digital image analysis and studies of fin erosion as indicator of social interactions in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

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Kjetil Aune

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kjetil.aune@nofima.no

Aquaculture Research ; Volume 47. p. 3180–3188. 2016

He, Yajing; He, Yajing; Nielsen, Hanne Marie; Olesen, Ingrid; Ødegård, Jørgen; Damsgård, Børge

The aims of this study were to examine fin erosion caused by social interactions between Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) juveniles, and to evaluate the repeatability of recorded fin length using digital image analysis (DIA). Fin length of 2100 juvenile Atlantic cod was analysed using DIA, during a 6 weeks experiment. The lengths of the three dorsal fins and the caudal fin were measured by three different assessors (M, K, B) three times during the experiment. Repeatability was based on a sub set of data from 42 randomly chosen fish. Assessor M measured the length of the fins of the 42 fish three times (M1, M2, M3). M1 and M2 were done on the same day, while M3 was conducted 2 weeks later. Assessor K measured two times with a 2-year interval, and assessor B measured the fin length only once. The correlations between replicated measurements within assessor were highest for assessor M measured on the same day indicating an effect of memory. Repeatability of fin length ranged from 0.57 to 0.73 for the four fins. Social interaction with respect to fin erosion was studied using data on the four fins from all 2100 fish. ‘Relative fin length’ (fin length/total body length × 100) was calculated to assess fin erosion. Results indicated that all four fins were eroded due to social interactions, but the caudal fin was most severely eroded. In conclusion, DIA can be used to measured fin length but the method could be improved by using chromatic pictures.

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