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Population analysis of skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis(Perciforme: Scombridae: Thunnini) on the Brazilian coast

Grant number: 13/20211-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal researcher:Claudio de Oliveira
Grantee:Camila da Silva de Souza
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis, represents an important worldwide fishing resource being more representative in the food industry, in the production of canned fish. This is a epipelagic fish belonging to the family Scombridae, tribe Thunnini, encompassing 15 species and five genera: Thunnus, Euthynnus, Katsuwonus, Auxis and Allothunnus with a worldwide distribution due their large migrations. The species K. pelamis, only representative of the genus Katsuwonus, found in large numbers in tropical and temperate waters of all oceans, been the main target of the fishing industry, accounting for about 50% of world production of tuna and now their situation is likely to be overfishing. The skipjack tuna is the most abundant species from tuna in Brazil and occurs with more abundance in the intermediate platform and upper slope. The identification of species and populations that composes a fishery resource is imperative, not only for the scientific importance which itself represents, but also from the point of view of resource management. Erroneous results may be produced considering several isolated populations or different species as a single population. Considering the importance of the tuna and the likelihood of overfishing of K. pelamis, this project intended to identify and characterize the local populations of skipjack tuna in the Brazilian shore. It will be analyzed 90 animals collected from three different areas of Brazil. For this samples we will amplify and sequence part of the control region (~ 850 bp) of the mitochondrial DNA, aiming to generate data that can be used in order to better direct decisions on fisheries management of this species along the Brazilian coast and in the delineation of priority areas for its conservation programs in Brazil.