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Gender differences in health and aging of Atlantic cod subject to size selective fishery

Journal article
Authors Bethanie Carney Almroth
Mattias Sköld
Helen Nilsson Sköld
Published in Biology Open
Volume 1
Issue 9
Pages 922-928
ISSN 2046-6390
Publication year 2012
Published at Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology (CEMEB)
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 922-928
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1242/bio.20121446
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/204874
Subject categories Animal physiology, Zoology, Biological Sciences

Abstract

We have analyzed health and physiological aging parameters in male and female Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, captured in Kattegat, Skagerrak and in Öresund. Gender differences were clearly evident in a number of variables. Males had longer liver telomeres and higher catalase activities than females, while females had higher superoxide dismutase activity, liver somatic index and condition factor. Effects of age were found for males where levels of the antioxidant glutathione and telomere length declined with age, indicating physiological aging. Liver somatic index increased and percentage oxidized glutathione decreased with age. Between-site comparisons of males show that percentage oxidized glutathione and catalase were lowest in Kattegat, whereas protein carbonyls and condition factor were higher in Skagerrak. Females, on the other hand, showed no differences between sites or indications of somatic aging or age-related effects in egg quality, indicating that older and larger female cod are healthy and show no changes in eggs with age. In contrast, males showed indications of physiological aging and lower condition than females. The results emphasize the importance of conserving old mature fish, in particular high egg-productive females, when managing fisheries.

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