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Parasitism, condition and reproduction of the European hake (Merluccius merluccius) in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea
Ferrer Maza, Dolors; Lloret Romañach, Josep; Muñoz Frigola, Marta; Faliex, Elisabeth; Vila Espuña, Sílvia; Sasal, Pierre
It is well known that parameters relating to physical condition and reproduction of fish provide essential data for estimating the productivity of exploited populations, as is the case with the European hake (Merluccius merluccius) in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Although parasitism might affect these parameters, research in this area is very scarce (and in the case of the Mediterranean almost non-existent). This study evaluates for the first time the potential link between parasitism, condition and reproduction of the European hake. Indicators of fish energy reserves (total lipid content in liver and gonads) and reproductive capacity (fecundity, egg quality and atresia) were evaluated, as were the prevalence and intensity of infection by metazoan parasites. The results indicate that the impact of anisakid nematodes is mostly negative and occurs mainly when hake are allocating their energy reserves to gonadal development. Although the results reveal a link between parasitism, condition and reproduction, we concluded that the northwestern Mediterranean hake population is in equilibrium with its metazoan parasites, which are not causing severe impairment to their physical condition or reproductive capacity
Lluç -- Fecunditat
Parasitisme
Hake -- Fertility
Parasitism
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Oxford University Press (OUP)
         

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