Docstoc

FAIR-CT 96.1304

Document Sample
FAIR-CT 96.1304 Powered By Docstoc
					                            FAIR-CT 96.1304

            EUROPEAN FISH AGEING NETWORK (EFAN)

               Abstract of the Progress Report for the period

                    from 1 December 1997 to 30 November 1998



Type of contract:     Concerted Action

Total cost: 429.000 ECU     EC contribution: 429.000 ECU

Commencement date: 1. December 1996       Duration 48 months

Completion date: 30 November 2000

EC contact: Mr. Dominique LEVIEIL, DG XIV/C.2

Coordinator: Prof. Erlend Moksness, Institute of Marine Research, Flødevigen
Marine Research Station, N-4817 His, Norway; Tel. +47-37-059041; fax. +47-37-
059001; email: moksness@imr.no

Partners:


 #                       Name of Institute                    Country
 1  Institute of Marine Research                            Norway
 2  Institute of Marine Biology of Crete                    Greece
 3  Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia                       Spain
 4  Fed. Research Center for Fisheries, Institute for Sea   Germany
    Fisheries
  5 Instituto de Zoologia, Faculdade de Ciencias,           Portugal
    Universidade do Porto
  6 Instituto de Investigacao das Pescas e do Mar           Portugal
  7 University College Cork                                 Ireland
  8 Instituto di Ricerche Sulla Pesca Marittima/Consiglio   Italia
    Nazionale delle Ricerche (IRPEM/CNR)
  9 Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute           Finland
 10 Universidade do Algarve, Unidade de Ciencias e          Portugal
    Technologias dos Recursos Aquaticos
 11 Instituto Technilogico Pesquero y Alimentario (AZTI)    Spain
12 National Board of Fisheries                                Sweden
   Institute of marine Research
13 Institute of Freshwater Research                           Sweden
   National Board of Fisheries
14 Institut Francais de Recherche pour l´exploitation de la   France
   Mer (IFREMER)
15 Scottish Office Agriculture, Enviroment and Fisheries      Scotland
   Department, Marine Laboratory
16 Agriculture and Enviromental Science Division,             Northern
   Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland             Ireland, UK
17 Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research (RIVO-DLO)    Netherlands
18 Danish Institute for Fisheries Research                    Denmark
19 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC)     Spain
20 The marine Institute                                       Republic of
   Fisheries Research Centre                                  Ireland
21 Federal Research Centre for Fisheries,                     Germany
   Institute for Baltic Fisheries
22 Directorate of Fisheries Research, Ministry of             England
   Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF)
23 Centro Oceanografico se Santander,                         Spain
   Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia
24 Marine Research Institute                                  Iceland
25 Dipartimento di Scienze Dellámbiente & del Territorio      Italy
   (D.S.A.T.)
26 ORSTOM (Institut Francais de Recherch Scientifique         France
   pour le developpment en cooperation)
27 Norwegian University of Science and Technology             Norway
28 National Centre for Marine Research                        Greece
29 University of Bergen                                       Norway
30 Scottish Association for Marine Science                    UK
31 The University of Liverpool                                UK
32 IMAR - Instituto do Mar Laboratorio Maritimo da Guia       Portugal
33 Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries Laboratory               Greece
34 Universidade do Aveiro Departamento de Biologia            Portugal
35 Fish Culture Research Institute                            Hungary
I. Objectives

To develop a competent network of laboratories with the capacity to develop, conduct
and coordinate collaborative research and training, and thereby ensure that age
determination becomes a reliable element of the assessments underlying the scientific
management advice on fisheries and environmental resources.

Preliminary partial objectives

      To stimulate international collaboration by offering services and facilities to
       workshops, conferences, visiting scientists and students focussing on ageing
       research and methods.
      To recommend practical development of existing ageing methods, including
       computer techniques, with a view towards rationalising current practices while
       satisfying the demands for speed, accuracy and consistency.
      To develop and update a library of method descriptions and reference
       collections for different species and stocks for use in training and
       intercalibration exercises.
      To improve the accuracy of current and new ageing procedures by
       recommending a range of verification procedures based on both classical and
       novel techniques (e.g. radiometry, trace element analyses, advanced staining
       techniques).




II. Description of work
In total, 35 University and Research Institutes representing 16 countries in Europe are
partners in the Concerted Action ―European Fish Ageing Network‖ (EFAN). Three
new partners were added in 1998. The work in EFAN is focused on improving the
interaction among scientists in Europe using bony structures in fish to estimate age,
backcalculate body growth rate and to separate fish stocks. By bringing together
scientists from the different regions in Europe the project aims to improve research
and training related to age determination of fishes. Communication is the key to the
progress and has been divided in the following forms of communication:
    1. to bring together scientists at Plenary meetings and workshops,
    2. publish the EFAN Newsletter and distribute it among the EFAN participants,
    3. use the Internet Homepage for information, discussions and databases.

The activity in EFAN is organised in five Cells. Each Cell has been identified as the
high priority areas for discussion during the project duration of four years. The five
Cells are as follows:
        Cell 1 - Methodologies and Procedures
        Cell 2 - Information Processing
        Cell 3 - Information Exchange and Training
        Cell 4 - Validation of ageing
        Cell 5 - Research and application of ageing methodology
Each Cell is organised by a Cell-coordinator and participants in EFAN are only
allowed to allocate their time to one cell. Each cell meets during the plenary meetings
with the addition of special Cell workshops. Beside that, special discussion forums
are available at the EFAN Homepage for discussion on topics related to the Cell.
Each of the members of EFAN contributes with data to be included in the different
databases that are being developed within EFAN and to be published at the EFAN
Homepage.
III. State of progress
During the second year (1 December 1997 - 31 November 1998) the Concerted action
EFAN have organised one EFAN Plenary meetings (Porto, Portugal) and three EFAN
Cell Workshops (Cell 2, Cell 3 and Cell 5), published four Newsletters (Annex 1-4)
and four EFAN Reports (Annex 5-8), and updated the EFAN internet Homepage
(http://www.efan.no).

EFAN Plenary meetings

University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, 30 September – 3 October 1998

The third EFAN Plenary meeting took place between 30 September – 3 October 1998
and focused on the communication between the different partners and linking between
the different Cells. Presentation and comments on the EFAN Homepage was a top
issue on the agenda with the addition of presentation of ongoing projects at several
partners. In general all participants at the meeting expressed that they were satisfied
with the development and progress of EFAN. However, many felt that the
communication between the five Cells was limited and that it should be focused more
on merging the different Cells in the future. In total 46 persons from 14 different
countries participated in the meeting. For more information see Annex 3-4.


EFAN Cell Workshops

Cell 2. Porto, Portugal, 28-29 September 1998

The 2nd Workshop of Cell 2 focused on Establishment of a digital image reference
database. The aim of this workshop was to propose a basic framework for a digital
image reference library of interpreted calcified structures. This framework was based
on a classification of the main reading problems encountered on both c.s.
macrostructures and microstructures. This typology enabled us to recommend a data
format and a protocol for the storage of c.s. interpretation under digital images. The
scope of application of these recommendations will extend above the bounds of this
database and could be used for data storage and data exchange in the context of age
reading workshops or laboratory inter-calibration. As this typology was based on
samples brought by workshop participants, it does not attempt to be exhaustive. Type
descriptions are brief and hence probably incomplete. For these reasons, this
classification must be part of an ongoing refinement process. In order to complete it,
people submitting image set samples to EFAN is encouraged to propose new reading
features when needed.

For more information see Annex 7.


Cell 3. Porto, Portugal, 28-29 September 1998
The Cell 3 activities during 1998 comprised intersessional work, a workshop on
exchange programs and the regular Cell 3 meeting at the EFAN annual plenary. The
objective of the workshop was to discuss and evaluate two completed exchange
programs on cod and anchovy that was planned and outlined at previous Cell 3
meetings. Several members from other EFAN Cells were invited to present their
experience on the use and misuse of exchange programs. The results from the
discussions on exchange programs are linked to other vital Cell 3 tasks such as
training support and distribution of expert information.

The Cell 3 members also discussed the inventories on data relevant to age estimation
processes. Current inventories included the inquiry of age reading experts, the listing
of grey literature on exchange programs and workshops as well as the common
gathering of data with Cell 1 on problems in age estimations. An inventory of
reference collections of otoliths and other age estimation material was planned in co-
operation with Cell 4 members.

The outline and contents of two professional products for training and expert
reference were presented and discussed. Both products were based on national
initiatives but were well in line with the EFAN objectives and were highly
recommended for future support.


Cell 5, Bergen, Norway, 18—19 and 23 June 1998

The purpose of the workshop was to review otolith preparation techniques and
interpretation of microstructure. The cell considered three main areas; marking
methodology, preparation techniques for thin sections and microstructural features of
the otolith. Many methods for inducing marks on otoliths have been described but not
in a single review. The workshop showed there is little standardisation in
microstructural preparation techniques. However, the workshop enabled discussion of
various preparation procedures and some consideration of the relative merits of each.
Some new ideas for thin section preparation were also described. Despite a wealth of
information the workshop highlighted the difficulties in interpretation of otolith
structures and the terminology used. Through illustration and extensive referencing of
structures some standardisation in interpretation was attempted. The report resulting
from the workshop was intended to add to information already available from
previous reviews of otolith fine structure. The report will be freely accessible at the
EFAN web site shortly.

Reports from the 1997 workshop on the status of otolith research and ageing
methodologies (Annex 5) and 1998 workshop on otolith preparation and analysis
(Annex 6) are now complete.


EFAN Newsletter

In total, four EFAN Newsletter (Annex 1-4) have been published and distributed
among the EFAN Partners during the second year. The EFAN Newsletter contains
information regarding upcoming meeting, reports from previous meetings and tries to
include any relevant information associated with EFAN and its Partners. The EFAN
Newsletter is an important documentation of the outcome of EFAN.


EFAN Reports

During the second year, four EFAN Reports (Annex 5-8) have been published and
distributed among EFAN Partners. All EFAN Reports is concerned with specific
issues related to the progress of EFAN.


EFAN Internet Homepage

The EFAN Internet Homepage (http://www.efan.no) was published in April 1997.
The Homepage have experience a relative high number visitors (measured as number
of hits) from more than 50 countries. The Homepage describes the Concerted action
EFAN, how it is organised, presentation of the five Cells including documents and
information associated with the Cells. In addition the Homepage contain discussion
forums and databases associated with the Concerted action. There is no limitation in
who have access to the Homepage indicating that all information can be read by
anyone visiting the Homepage. All partners in the Concerted action can be contacted
through the Homepage.



IV. Achievements
Several databases are planned to be developed within EFAN and several
questionnaires have already been distributed. At present 3 Databases (DB1, DB2, and
DB3) are available at the EFAN Homepage (http://efan.no):

DB1 (Central facility): include information on the different Partners and persons
     involved in EFAN

DB2 (Cell 2): Contain information on available Software and Hardware for
     examination of otoliths and scales

DB3 (Cell 3): Contain information on Ageing experts and studies species.



V. Future actions
In 1999 there will be organised three Cell Workshops and one EFAN Plenary
meeting. The meetings are scheduled as follows:

EFAN Cell 2 WS, Iraklion, Greece, 4 - 9 October 1999
EFAN Cell 4 WS, Iraklion, Greece, 4 - 9 October 1999
EFAN Cell 5 WS, Iraklion, Greece, 4 - 9 October 1999
EFAN Plenary Meeting, Iraklion, Greece, 4 - 9 October 1999

Several databases are planned to be published on the EFAN Homepage and several
questionnaire have already been distributed among the partners. The following EFAN
Databases have been identified and will be available in the future:

Cell 1:
              DB4: Ageing Procedures
              DB5: Ageing Methodology

Cell 3:
              DB6: Reference collection, check collections Reader Consistency
              DB7: Otolith Meetings, calibration References
              DB8: Activity updates

Cell 4:
              DB9: References concerning age determination
              DB10: Age validation structure

Cell 5:
             DB11: Research programmes
                             FAIR-CT 96.1304

            EUROPEAN FISH AGEING NETWORK (EFAN)

                 Consolidated Progress Report for the period

                    from 1 December 1997 to 30 November 1998



Type of contract:     Concerted Action

Total cost: 429.000 ECU      EC contribution: 429.000 ECU

Commencement date: 1. December 1996         Duration 48 months

Completion date: 30. November 2000

EC contact: Mr. Dominique LEVIEIL, DG XIV/C.2

Coordinator: Prof. Erlend Moksness, Institute of Marine Research, Flødevigen
Marine Research Station, N-4817 His, Norway; Tel. +47-37-059041; fax. +47-37-
059001; email: moksness@imr.no

Partners:


 #                         Name of Institute                    Country
 1    Institute of Marine Research                            Norway
 2    Institute of Marine Biology of Crete                    Greece
 3    Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia                       Spain
 4    Fed. Research Center for Fisheries, Institute for Sea   Germany
      Fisheries
 5    Instituto de Zoologia, Faculdade de Ciencias,           Portugal
      Universidade do Porto
 6    Instituto de Investigacao das Pescas e do Mar           Portugal
 7    University College Cork                                 Ireland
 8    Instituto di Ricerche Sulla Pesca Marittima/Consiglio   Italia
      Nazionale delle Ricerche (IRPEM/CNR)
  9   Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute           Finland
 10   Universidade do Algarve, Unidade de Ciencias e          Portugal
      Technologias dos Recursos Aquaticos
 11   Instituto Technilogico Pesquero y Alimentario (AZTI)    Spain
 12   National Board of Fisheries                             Sweden
      Institute of marine Research
 13   Institute of Freshwater Research                        Sweden
   National Board of Fisheries
14 Institut Francais de Recherche pour l´exploitation de la   France
   Mer (IFREMER)
15 Scottish Office Agriculture, Enviroment and Fisheries      Scotland
   Department, Marine Laboratory
16 Agriculture and Enviromental Science Division,             Northern
   Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland             Ireland, UK
17 Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research (RIVO-DLO)    Netherlands
18 Danish Institute for Fisheries Research                    Denmark
19 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC)     Spain
20 The marine Institute                                       Republic of
   Fisheries Research Centre                                  Ireland
21 Federal Research Centre for Fisheries,                     Germany
   Institute for Baltic Fisheries
22 Directorate of Fisheries Research, Ministry of             England
   Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF)
23 Centro Oceanografico se Santander,                         Spain
   Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia
24 Marine Research Institute                                  Iceland
25 Dipartimento di Scienze Dellámbiente & del Territorio      Italy
   (D.S.A.T.)
26 ORSTOM (Institut Francais de Recherch Scientifique         France
   pour le developpment en cooperation)
27 Norwegian University of Science and Technology             Norway
28 National Centre for Marine Research                        Greece
29 University of Bergen                                       Norway
30 Scottish Association for Marine Science                    UK
31 The University of Liverpool                                UK
32 IMAR - Instituto do Mar Laboratorio Maritimo da Guia       Portugal
33 Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries Laboratory               Greece
34 Universidade do Aveiro Departamento de Biologia            Portugal
35 Fish Culture Research Institute                            Hungary
Objectives
To develop a competent network of laboratories with the capacity to develop, conduct
and coordinate collaborative research and training, and thereby ensure that age
determination becomes a reliable element of the assessments underlying the scientific
management advice on fisheries and environmental resources.

Preliminary partial objectives

      To stimulate international collaboration by offering services and facilities to
       workshops, conferences, visiting scientists and students focussing on ageing
       research and methods.
     To recommend practical development of existing ageing methods, including
       computer techniques, with a view towards rationalising current practices while
       satisfying the demands for speed, accuracy and consistency.
     To develop and update a library of method descriptions and reference
       collections for different species and stocks for use in training and
       intercalibration exercises.
To improve the accuracy of current and new ageing procedures by recommending a
range of verification procedures based on both classical and novel techniques (e.g.
radiometry, trace element analyses, advanced staining techniques).



Description of work
In total, 35 University and Research Institutes representing 16 countries in Europe are
partners in the Concerted Action ―European Fish Ageing Network‖ (EFAN). Three
new partners were added in 1998. The work in EFAN is focused on improving the
interaction among scientists in Europe using bony structures in fish to estimate age,
backcalculate body growth rate and to separate fish stocks. By bringing together
scientists from the different regions in Europe the project aims to improve research
and training related to age determination of fishes. Communication is the key to the
progress and has been divided in the following forms of communication:
    1. to bring together scientists at Plenary meetings and workshops,
    2. publish the EFAN Newsletter and distribute it among the EFAN participants,
    3. use the Internet Homepage for information, discussions and databases.

The activity in EFAN is organised in five Cells. Each Cell has been identified as the
high priority areas for discussion during the project duration of four years. The five
Cells are as follows:
        Cell 1 - Methodologies and Procedures
        Cell 2 - Information Processing
        Cell 3 - Information Exchange and Training
        Cell 4 - Validation of ageing
        Cell 5 - Research and application of ageing methodology
Each Cell is organised by a Cell-coordinator and participants in EFAN are only
allowed to allocate their time to one cell. Each cell meets during the Plenary meetings
with the addition of special Cell workshops. Beside that, special discussion forums
are available at the EFAN Homepage for discussion on topics related to the Cell.
Each of the members of EFAN contributes with data to be included in the different
databases that are being developed within EFAN and to be published at the EFAN
Homepage.
Results and deliverables
EFAN "Central facilities"

Milestones

 EFAN         Month                                             Milestones
All Cells       18        Annual Workshop (Porto, Portugal)
   CF           18        Plenary Meeting (Porto, Portugal)
   CF        4 x /year    EFAN Newsletter

Deliverables

 EFAN        Month                                            Deliverables
  CF          24         EFAN Annual Report (CD)

During the second year (1 December 1997 - 31 November 1998) the Concerted action
EFAN have organised one EFAN Plenary meetings (Porto, Portugal) and three EFAN
Cell Workshops (Cell 2, Cell 3 and Cell 5), published four Newsletters (Annex 1-4)
and four EFAN Reports (Annex 5-8), and updated the EFAN internet Homepage
(http://www.efan.no).

EFAN Plenary meetings

University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, 30 September – 3 October 1998

The third EFAN Plenary meeting took place between 30 September – 3 October 1998
and focused on the communication between the different partners and linking between
the different Cells. Presentation and comments on the EFAN Homepage was a top
issue on the agenda with the addition of presentation of ongoing projects at several
partners. In general all participants at the meeting expressed that they were satisfied
with the development and progress of EFAN. However, many felt that the
communication between the five Cells was limited and that it should be focused more
on merging the different Cells in the future. In total 46 persons from 14 different
countries participated in the meeting. For more information see Annex 3-4.


EFAN Cell Workshops

Cell 2. Porto, Portugal, 28-29 September 1998

The 2nd Workshop of Cell 2 focused on Establishment of a digital image reference
database. The aim of this workshop was to propose a basic framework for a digital
image reference library of interpreted calcified structures. This framework was based
on a classification of the main reading problems encountered on both c.s.
macrostructures and microstructures. This typology enabled us to recommend a data
format and a protocol for the storage of c.s. interpretation under digital images. The
scope of application of these recommendations will extend above the bounds of this
database and could be used for data storage and data exchange in the context of age
reading workshops or laboratory inter-calibration. As this typology was based on
samples brought by workshop participants, it does not attempt to be exhaustive. Type
descriptions are brief and hence probably incomplete. For these reasons, this
classification must be part of an ongoing refinement process. In order to complete it,
people submitting image set samples to EFAN is encouraged to propose new reading
features when needed.

For more information see Annex 7.


Cell 3. Porto, Portugal, 28-29 September 1998

The Cell 3 activities during 1998 comprised intersessional work, a workshop on
exchange programs and the regular Cell 3 meeting at the EFAN annual plenary. The
objective of the workshop was to discuss and evaluate two completed exchange
programs on cod and anchovy that was planned and outlined at previous Cell 3
meetings. Several members from other EFAN Cells were invited to present their
experience on the use and misuse of exchange programs. The results from the
discussions on exchange programs are linked to other vital Cell 3 tasks such as
training support and distribution of expert information.

The Cell 3 members also discussed the inventories on data relevant to age estimation
processes. Current inventories included the inquiry of age reading experts, the listing
of grey literature on exchange programs and workshops as well as the common
gathering of data with Cell 1 on problems in age estimations. An inventory of
reference collections of otoliths and other age estimation material was planned in co-
operation with Cell 4 members.

The outline and contents of two professional products for training and expert
reference were presented and discussed. Both products were based on national
initiatives but were well in line with the EFAN objectives and were highly
recommended for future support.


Cell 5, Bergen, Norway, 18—19 and 23 June 1998

The purpose of the workshop was to review otolith preparation techniques and
interpretation of microstructure. The cell considered three main areas; marking
methodology, preparation techniques for thin sections and microstructural features of
the otolith. Many methods for inducing marks on otoliths have been described but not
in a single review. The workshop showed there is little standardisation in
microstructural preparation techniques. However, the workshop enabled discussion of
various preparation procedures and some consideration of the relative merits of each.
Some new ideas for thin section preparation were also described. Despite a wealth of
information the workshop highlighted the difficulties in interpretation of otolith
structures and the terminology used. Through illustration and extensive referencing of
structures some standardisation in interpretation was attempted. The report resulting
from the workshop was intended to add to information already available from
previous reviews of otolith fine structure. The report will be freely accessible at the
EFAN web site shortly.

Reports from the 1997 workshop on the status of otolith research and ageing
methodologies (Annex 5) and 1998 workshop on otolith preparation and analysis
(Annex 6) are now complete.


EFAN Newsletter

In total, four EFAN Newsletter (Annex 1-4) have been published and distributed
among the EFAN Partners during the second year. The EFAN Newsletter contains
information regarding upcoming meeting, reports from previous meetings and tries to
include any relevant information associated with EFAN and its Partners. The EFAN
Newsletter is an important documentation of the outcome of EFAN.
EFAN Reports

During the second year, four EFAN Reports (Annex 5-8) have been published and
distributed among EFAN Partners. All EFAN Reports is concerned with specific
issues related to the progress of EFAN.
  EFAN CELL 1:              METHODOLOGIES AND PROCEDURES

  Co-ordinator: Willie McCurdy, UK

  Table 1. List of active members of EFAN Cell 1 "Methodologies and Procedures".

  First         Last name                    Institute               Country         EFAN
  name                                                                            Participant #
Magnus        Appelberg         Institute of Freshwater Research      Sweden           13
Paola         Belcari           Pisa University                        Italy           25
                                DSUA
Orestes       Cendrero          Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia      Spain             3
Arne          Johannessen       Department of Fisheries and           Norway            29
                                Marine Biology
Harald        Gjøsæter          Institute of Marine Research          Norway             1
Willie        McCurdy           DANI, AESD                             UK               16
                                Department of Agriculture
Jarle         Mork              Biological Station, Trondheim         Norway            27


  Background

  The recognised importance of fish ageing over the years led to extensive activity in
  this field of research. The number of ageing papers in the literature is very high and
  there are several reviews and symposium proceedings on the subject. However in
  most cases quality control has not been clearly demonstrated and indeed for many
  species no reliable or accepted ageing techniques have been developed.

  Although the importance of developing reliable ageing methods was recognised
  before the development of the current assessment models and despite the major effort
  focused on ageing over an extended period, ageing of fish and other organisms is still
  by no means a trivial matter. In many species, very unfortunate controversies over
  ageing methodology have arisen, often because several techniques have been used for
  the same species.

  Quality controls are the procedures which maintain measurements within an
  acceptable level of accuracy and precision, and quality assessments are procedures
  which provide documented evidence that the quality control is being achieved.
  Acceptable quality control and regular quality assessments are necessary for
  maintaining the accuracy and reliability of age determinations for aquatic organisms.


  Tasks

       The main task of the methodologies cell is to achieve an international standard for
        all ageing activities. The sub task is to achieve as good a standard as possible at a
        national level.
     2. Each network member will produce a list of titles for the standard procedures
        that will be created for fish ageing activities, and a list of the fish ageing
        techniques currently in use at individual institutes.

     3. A single format will be agreed for the standard procedures.

     4. Individual network members will then create standard procedures for all
        tasks associated with the ageing of fish, in order to provide a quality control
        system for fish ageing within the network.

     5. Individual procedures will then be collated and condensed to form the basis
        of a submission for accreditation of the network's fish ageing activities at an
        international level.


Objectives:

The principal objective of the methodologies and procedures cell is to achieve an
international standard for all ageing activities within EFAN as a method of providing
evidence of effective quality control for EFAN fish ageing techniques.

The interim objective is to achieve as good a standard as possible at national level.
All currently programmed Cell 1 tasks are intended to support the achievement of the
principle objective.


Milestones:

 EFAN         Month                                          Milestones
 Cell 1        18     The second co-ordination meeting, which will review the standard procedures for all tasks
                      associated with sampling and data management activities and will recommend qualifying
                      procedures to the standing committee for adoption by the network.



Deliverables:

No Deliverables in 1998

3rd Plenary EFAN meeting, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Porto,
Portugal. - 30 September – 03 October 1998


Participants:

Magnus Appelberg       (Partner 13)
Paola Belcari          (Partner 25)
Willie Mc Curdy        (Partner 16) Co-ordinator
Orestes Cendero        (Partner 23)
Quality Assurance and the role of Standard Procedures:

Quality controls are procedures that maintain measurements within an acceptable
level of accuracy and precision. Quality assurance is basically a guarantee that
effective quality control is being achieved.

Quality assurance together with the achievement and retention of an internationally
recognised quality assurance standard, is widely regarded as independent evidence
that quality control is being achieved.

Quality control and quality assurance measures are applied to some fish ageing
activities, but independent inspection of these measures is rare.
Standard methods are part of the quality control process and should specify;
 How material is prepared for age determination
 The method of age determination
 Any constraints relevant to the application of the method of age determination

Standard methods are used to produce results fall within an acceptable level of
precision. Where a standard method is validated through the use of reference materials
to ensure that the results produced fall within an acceptable level of accuracy, it may
form the basis for a standard procedure.

A Standard procedure (also known as a standard operating procedure), should provide
evidence that the application of method is both accurate and precise, by specifying the
manner and frequency of the application of tests to check that the accuracy and
precision of the method.


Milestones:

1997.1 The completion of an indexed list of the titles for the standard procedures
that will be written for all fish ageing activities currently undertaken by network
members.

For the initial relevant network membership 78% of this milestone has been achieved
and for the current total relevant network membership 54% completion has been
achieved.

The results of the survey to establish the reasons for the lack of further progress
towards this milestone were very disappointing. The apparent lack of progress in this
area resulted in Cell 1 proposing a less rigid structure for EFAN Quality assurance, to
the plenary meeting in Porto on 03 October 1998. This proposal produced a
discussion that suggested progress towards standard operating procedures, was
directly related to the relevance of accreditation to individual institutes. This
discussion is further detailed in the progress report for milestone 2001.1.


1997.2 The completion of an indexed list of all the methods used to age the
various groups of fish species by individual network members.

After the Arendal meeting in January 1997, a combined questionnaire was produced
to replace both the Cell 1 ―Fish ageing methods inventory‖ and the Cell 3 ―Fish
ageing expertise‖ questionnaires.

It was agreed that the Cell 1 co-ordinator amd the EFAN database manager would co-
operate on this task and that the Cell 1 co-ordinator would resubmit the data on the
new form for installation in the EFAN database.


1997.3 The establishment of an agreed common format for the publication of
standard operating procedures.
This task is complete. EFAN procedures will be produced in English. EFAN
procedures can also be circulated nationally in the native languages(s) as required.
2001.1 The creation of standard operating procedures by individual network
members for all tasks associated with the ageing of fish, in order to provide a
quality control system for fish ageing within the network.

A Cell 1 proposal for a less rigid structure for EFAN Quality assurance, to the plenary
session on 03 October 1998, produced a full and frank discussion at that meeting.
Various (and often strongly held) points of view were expressed that indicated the
difference in outlook on accreditation for fish age determinations. Significant
differences of opinion were apparent between fisheries institutes and university
institutes, and also between institutes that worked principally with freshwater species
and those that worked principally with marine species.

Concerns expressed included the relevance of accreditation to all EFAN institutes, the
relevance of accreditation to institute funding bodies in some cases, the acquisition of
the additional funding and human resources required to seek and maintain accredited
status, the implications of not having accredited status and the role of EFAN in the
setting of quality assurance standards.

The issue of a potential role for EFAN in setting of quality assurance standards, was
thoroughly discussed without a consensus being reached. The chairperson concluded
formal discussion on this subject by asking Cell 1 to host a theme session on Quality
Assurance to coincide with the 4th plenary meeting. The Cell 1 co-ordinator accepted
the responsibility for this on behalf of Cell 1. It was agreed that the concept would be
developed within the cell by e-mail exchanges, with further details of this session to
be posted as a discussion subject on the EFAN homepage as soon as possible.

Cornelius Hammer (Partner 19) asked to transfer to Cell 1 as he wished to participate
in the development of Quality Assurance within EFAN and he was warmly welcomed
to Cell 1.

N.B. An aspect of the increasing maturity network observed at this meeting is the
increasing integration of the individual cells. In response the concept of the theme
session was developed to facilitate the exploration of subjects that involve more than
one cell and which do not necessarily require the participation of all EFAN members.
A theme session is essentially a workshop in which all interested members can
participate irrespective of their parent cell.


2001.2 The collation and condensing of EFAN standard operating procedures to
form the basis of a submission for accreditation of the network’s fish ageing
activities at an international level.

It is anticipated that the proposed guidelines for the nature and content of fish ageing
standard procedures, will be a deliverable from the Cell 1 Theme session on Quality
Assurance at the 4 th EFAN Plenary meeting.



Cell 1 presentations to the 3 rd EFAN Plenary Meeting Appendices:
Appendix 9. ―The Path To Accreditation‖
Appendix 10. ―Quality Assurance‖
  EFAN CELL 2: Information Processing

  Co-ordinator: Herve Troadec, France

  Table 3. List of active members of Cell 2 " Information Processing ".

   First        Last name                 Institute               Country        EFAN
  name                                                                        Participant #
Manuela       Cunha          IPIMAR                         Portugal                6
Peer          Doering        Inst. of Freshwater Research   Germany                13
Ivone         Figueiredo     IPIMAR                         Portugal                6
Colm          Lordan         Aquaculture Development Centre Ireland                 7
Ana           Moreno         IPIMAR                         Portugal                6
Thorleifur    Oskarsson      Marine Research Institute       Iceland               24
Bjørn         Steinarsson    Marine Research Institute      Iceland                24
Hervé         Troadec        IFREMER, Centre de Brest        France                14
George        Tserpes        Institute of Marine Biology of  Greece                 2
                             Crete


  Background

  The acquisition and processing of material for ageing (otoliths, scales, bones)
  represents a large commitment in terms of both labour and costs. With recent
  advances in information technology a vast array of instrumentation, computer
  hardware devices and supporting analytical software are available to researchers.
  These include:

          ·    image analysis systems, database management software and archival
               systems,
          ·    analogic and digital devices,
          ·    algorithms including pattern recognition.

  Currently, however, the uptake and use of these technologies (in fisheries biology) has
  been slow and uncoordinated with different laboratories or workers utilising
  different systems. Although several laboratories have developed specialised software,
  the geographic and time dispersal of this development effort, in terms of application
  and human and financial investment, has led to products which have a limited
  application or scope. The aim of the Information Processing Cell is to promote the
  use, the standardisation and the development of computer assisted systems in the field
  of fish ageing. These systems would also increase the objectivity and speed of routine
  ageing.

  Tasks

       1. Offer and recommend basic algorithm for image processing and storage,
          through an inventory of software and hardware available today for age
          estimation, an inventory of demands and problems.
2. Present and explain the possibilities and limits of the state of current
   knowledge and techniques.
Milestones

 EFAN        Month                                       Milestones
 Cell 2       18      Workshop on the evaluation of the minimum standards and on the establishment of a
                      digital reference library.




Deliverables

 EFAN        Month                                         Deliverables
 Cell 2       18     Report on the evaluation of the minimum standards and on the establishment of digital
                     image reference library (TD)
  Cell 2       18    Report on the requirements for an automated ageing system (TD)



This workshop on the " Establishment of a digital image reference database " was
organised by the Cell 2 "Information Processing" of the "European Fish Ageing
Network" (EFAN, concerted action FAIR PL.96.1304) and was held in Porto
(Portugal) at the University of Porto on 28-29 September 1998.

During the previous Workshop in Brest (France), the developer subgroup noted: ―… a
need to supply some ‗test images‘ to software developers. The group recommends
that we use the web-site to make these images easily available. Therefore members of
cell 2 are encouraged to send otolith, scale and statolith images of species they are
trying to age to Flødevigen so they can be made available on the web site. These
images can be used by the developers within EFAN to test their macros and
algorithms. This may also generate competition between software companies to
develop automatic or semi-automatic ageing functions within their respective
programs. It is hoped that the forum facility on the web site will be made use of to
discuss developments with regard to macros, algorithms and the test images.‖

The present Workshop focused on the establishment of a digital image reference
database. Structure and content of the database was discussed and defined on the basis
of samples or images brought by the participants. Attention was focused mainly on the
basic information content of hard-parts rather than on their biological interpretation.
The aim of the workshop was to propose a clear typology of these basic features to
supply software developers with a broad range of reading problems. Each participant
was asked to present several samples representative of the main reading difficulties
encountered in their laboratory.

The Workshop began with presentations on ―New developments in computer assisted
age estimation‖. This provided an introduction to the workshop and to allowed
feedback and exchange between the users and the developers. In addition, there was
an opportunity for developers and experienced age readers to discuss the particular
problems in detail depth.
The group agreed that the production of the reference database was vital for the
further development of computer assisted age reading. As this was the first workshop
on development of the database there was no intention to provide a complete set of all
the otolith types nor a complete set of their associated problems. Instead a small
sample of representative images were discussed.
Workshop Agenda

28 September 1998 :

09h00         Introduction
09h30        Presentations on : “New developments in computer assisted age
             estimation”
             Digital image processing of calcified structures : some fundamentals,
             by Hervé Troadec (Ifremer, France)
10h00        "A textural approach to fish scale analysis",
             by Simon Hickinbotham, (York University, UK)
10h30        Use of a deformable template for 2D growth ring detection of otoliths
             by digital image processing: its application to plaice otoliths,
             by Anne Guillaud (ENIB, France)
11h00        IMAGIC: A Software for Image Processing and its Application to
             Otolith Shape Analysis,
             by Dr. Manfred J. Kastowsky (Image Science Software GmbH,
             Germany)
11h30        Software demonstration
12h30        Lunch
14h00        Presentation and analysis of samples brought by participants
18h00        End

29 September 1998 :

09h00        Presentation and analysis of samples brought by participants
12h30        Lunch
14h00        Discussion and writing of the second progress report
18h00        End

List of participants

Table 1: List of the participants of the Cell 2 1998 Workshop held in Porto
(Portugal)

N°   First name   Last name        Country
1    Richard      Ayers            UK
2    Manuela      Cunha            Portugal
3    Peer         Doering-Arjes    Germany
4    Gianfranco   Giannetti        Italy
5    Anne         Guillaud         France
6    Simon        Hickinbotham     UK
7    Manfred      Kastowsky        Germany
8    Eugenia      Lefkaditou       Greece
9    Colm         Lordan           Ireland
10   Erlend       Moksness         Norway
11   Beatriz      Morales-Nin      Spain
12   Ana     Moreno    Portugal
13   Conor   Nolan     Ireland
14   Hervé   Troadec   France
  EFAN CELL 3: Information, Exchange and Training

  Co-ordinator: Johan Modin, Sweden

  Table 5. List of active members of Cell 3 "Information, Exchange and Training".

   First       Last name                   Institute               Country       EFAN
  name                                                                        Participant #
Paul L.      Connolly         Fisheries Research Centre             Ireland        20
Finn         Dahl Poulsen     Danish Institute for Fisheries       Denmark         18
                              Research
Nuno         Formigo          Instituto de Zoologia                Portugal         5
                              Universidade de Porto
Tomas        Gröhsler         Federal Research Centre for          Germany          21
                              Fisheries, Institute for Baltic
                              Fisheries (IOR)
Cornelius Hammer              Federal Research Centre for          Germany          4
                              Fisheries, Inst. for Sea Fisheries
                              (ISH)
Johan        Modin            Institute of Marine Research         Sweden           12
Andrew       Newton           Marine Laboratory,                    UK              15
                              Aberdeen, Scotland

  Background

  Age determination is fundamental to the understanding of the biology of any aquatic
  species and is carried out in a variety of institutes in all EU member states. Ageing
  techniques are used in a range of applications including basic research on
  demographic or growth processes as well as routine assessment of fishery or
  environmental impact. Scientific achievements are described in peer review journals,
  while problems in routine ageing are less discussed or evaluated. Furthermore, many
  age readers are isolated in national institutes and may be without updated scientific
  standards. As a consequence, the risk of inconsistency (low precision) between
  readers increases. Within the ICES community, precision between readers has
  improved through ad hoc workshops for a few species and regions. However,
  coordinated evaluation and training workshops are still missing for many problems
  species. There are also no agreed format for the evaluations of workshops nor any
  coordinated effort to identify these problem species. Many institutes store large
  quantities of aged material by both problem and easily aged species. These
  collections are not readily accessible and may not even be intended for reference
  purposes.

  In summary, there is an insufficient coordination between institutes and between
  readers. The situation has lead to the following problems:

           lack of consistency between age readers
           lack of mobility to exchange knowledge
           lack of European reference collections
       lack of monitoring accuracy
       lack of structured training procedures
       insufficient information on potential problem species

As indicated, all these problems can be related to the lack of formalized structured
forum for information exchange and training.
Tasks

In order to resolve these problems the following tasks will be undertaken by EFAN
and addressed by an appointed coordinator.

    1. Establishment of an advisory body to coordinate staff training and to advice
       on information exchange and training.

    2. Collect information from each participating institute of relevant "grey"
       literature in order to complement existing scientific bibliographies. The lists
       should be updated twice every year.

    3. Prepare and effecuate an inventory of ageing material by calcified structures
       of each participating institute. The institute should also comment on their
       own assessment of any problems.

    4. Suggest format and structure of national reference collections of calcified
       structures and to encourage each institute to establish such collections.
       Existing reference collections should be catalogued.

    5. Convene a meeting to se up, evaluate and organise an exchange program of
       age reading material and arrange and ensure a circulation of age reading
       material of selected problem species.

    6. Convene a second meeting to analyse results from the circulation of age
       material and to suggest actions to improve ageing of the selected species.

    7. Advice on training protocols and suggest continuous training, personal
       exchange and ad hoc workshops in order to introduce and update ageing
       knowledge.

    8. Evaluation of new development in information exchange and training and
       make further recommendations.

Milestones
 EFAN        Month                                            Milestones
 Cell 3       18      Analyse results from the circulation program and initiate further actions
 Cell 3       18      Evaluate training protocols and recommend a workshop or personal exchange programs
                      for one or two species
 Cell 3        18     Update the inventory on age samples, age readers and problem species

Deliverables
 EFAN        Month                                           Deliverables
 Cell 3       22     Evaluation of age reading results, circulated during 1997 and recommendations on further
                     action (TD)
 Cell 3        22    Report of training protocols with recommendations on the layout and analysis at age
                     reading workshops (TD)
 Cell 3        22    Complementary inventory of age readers and age reading material and problem species
                     (TD)
1. Introduction

The Cell 3 activities during 1998 comprised intersessional work, a workshop on
exchange programs and the regular Cell 3 meeting at the EFAN annual plenary. The
objective of the workshop was to discuss and evaluate two completed exchange
programs on cod and anchovy that was planned and outlined at previous Cell 3
meetings. Several members from other EFAN Cells were invited to present their
experience on the use and misuse of exchange programs. In this report results from
the discussions on exchange programs are linked to other vital Cell 3 tasks such as
training support and distribution of expert information.

The Cell 3 members also discussed the inventories on data relevant to age estimation
processes. Current inventories included the inquiry of age reading experts, the listing
of grey literature on exchange programs and workshops as well as the common
gathering of data with Cell 1 on problems in age estimations. An inventory of
reference collections of otoliths and other age estimation material was planned in co-
operation with Cell 4 members.

The outline and contents of two professional products for training and expert
reference were presented and discussed. Both products were based on national
initiatives but were well in line with the EFAN objectives and were highly
recommended for future support.

2. Workshop on evaluation of exchange programs

During 1997 Cell 3 presented results from an inquiry on problems in age estimation.
The objective of the inquiry was to identify typical ―problem species‖ that could be
tested for inter-laboratory precision by exchange programs. A number of problems in
the age estimation process were recognised. Candidate species were characterised by
lack of validation, problems with false rings, interpretation of older ages, preparation
techniques, etc. In addition, it was agreed that the species selected should be a
common study object to many age reading experts in order to facilitate the
organization of the exchange programs. The inquiry indicated that hake (Merluccius
merluccius) was considered to be a most ―difficult‖ species to age. This species was
already subjected to extensive evaluations by competent scientist and Cell 3 members
agreed to select other species for the planned exchange programs.

Two species, cod (Gadus morhua) from the North Sea and anchovy (Engraulis
encrasicolus) from the ICES Division IXa South were chosen for the planned
exercises. Age readers had reported problems for both fish stocks. In addition, the
chosen stocks were regularly evaluated by fish assessment working groups. Andrew
Newton was assigned to co-ordinate the exchange on North Sea cod and Maria Teresa
García Santamaría on anchovy in the ICES Division IXa South. The coordinators
were able to complete their task on schedule and compile reports to the 2nd EFAN
plenary in Porto, Portugal. The reports are issued in full as official EFAN reports
(EFAN Report 1-99 and 4-98 (Annex 8) respectively).
Andrew Newton reported on the results from the cod exchange program. Five
institutes participated with two readers each and two institutes with one reader each.
Each institute provided 15 random otoliths from two seasons (1st and 3rd quarters).
The samples included both broken and sectioned otoliths. Readers had access to
information on fish length and date of capture. The analysis was based on a
spreadsheet program (Eltink 1994) that calculates agreements to the achieved modal
age as well as individual reader precision and bias.

Results indicated high agreement within some institutes but lower agreement between
institutes. Agreement with the calculated modal age ranged between 39 to 96%.
However, most readers scored above 60%. Agreement was generally higher for
samples from the 1st quarter of the year compared to the 3rd quarter but a few reader
results indicated less deviations from the modal age during the 3rd quarter.

The large variation between institutes were unexpected since the age estimation of
North Sea cod have not previously been considered to be a problem. The results
suggested that an inter-calibration workshop could be motivated. More detailed
information will be available in EFAN Report 1-99.

Mª Theresa García Santamaría presented the report on the anchovy exchange program
(EFAN Report 4-98 (Annex 8)). Six age readers from six institutes participated in the
program. Otoliths were collected from the Gulf of Cádiz from two seasons (spring-
summer and autumn-winter). All otoliths were prepared and mounted identically. The
two seasonal sets of around 200 otoliths each were circulated with accompanying
information on catch date, length, weight and sex. Readers were asked to provide
information on estimated age, measures of annuli widths, type of marginal structure
(hyaline/opaque) and their own score of reliability for each otolith reading. Analysis
of age agreements and precision was performed with the same spreadsheet program
(Eltink 1994) that was used for the analysis of the North Sea cod samples.

Half of the readers recognised only 3 age-groups while the other readers recognised up
to 6 age groups. Most otoliths were assigned to age group 0 and 1. The agreement of
individual readers with the calculated modal age varied from 52% to 97% (average
around 78%). Agreement between readers decreased by age group. Some readers
showed conflicting opinions on the type of otolith margin (hyalin/opaque); a result
that indicated different interpretation standards between readers. Two readers out of
six were very confident and assigned high reliability to their results, while the other
readers had a surprisingly low confidence in their own age estimations (low reliability
score). For more information please read the EFAN Report 4-98 (Annex 8).

Carmen Piñeiro was invited to present results from a recent exchange program on
hake, previously known to be a ―most difficult‖ species to age. The exchange included
almost 200 sectioned otoliths, which were sampled in different seasons. Nine readers
participated. Results were analysed according to the recommendations of the
Workshop on sampling strategies for age and maturity (ICES 1994). A large
variability was recorded between readers: the coefficient of variance was on average
50%, while the two most experienced readers scored less variability (40%).
The hake exchange program was followed by a workshop where exchange results
were presented and age estimation criteria for hake were discussed. It was concluded
that precise results must be based on a common interpretation of the first false and the
first annuli. Discussions on this and other criteria were followed by a re-reading of
part of the exchange material. A small new sample (n=30) was also introduced and
read during the workshop. Analysis of the workshop readings showed encouraging
results. Reader variability decreased to an average coefficient of variance below 26%.
However, consistent bias (over- or underestimates) remained after the re-reading
exercises for individual readers regardless of experience.

Results from the presented investigations indicated that exchange programs could be
used to monitor the precision in age estimation between readers and between
institutes. However, the process in adopting standard protocols must include some
sort of common interference among responsible age readers. Thus, exchange
programs may be implemented as a check and alert routine but should be supervened
by less frequent workshops where standards can be updated and agreed.

Available statistical tools for the analysis of both exchange programs and workshops
was originally suggested by the Workshop on sampling strategies for age and maturity
(ICES 1994). These tools comprise excellent means to reveal inconsistencies between
readers but are less useful to identify disparate otolith interpretations. Such analysis is
often based on qualitative criteria like type of otolith margin or quantitative measures
of annulii widths. It was suggested that otoliths could be ranked by their variability
between readers. Thus, ―difficult‖ otoliths with high variability could be identified
and subjected to common discussions.

The presented case investigations were also used to compile a first outline on a
guideline for exchange schemes and workshops. This guideline will be further
processed till the next plenary meeting, when a first draft may be ready for
presentation.

3. Status of existing inventories and databases

An essential objective of the EFAN is to collate information on age estimation and to
distribute this information. Originally, Cell 3 members identified three topics to be
invented:
    1. a list of age estimation experts should be compiled,
    2. problems in the age estimation process should be identified and
    3. relevant grey literature should be collected. Inquires was considered to be the
        most efficient way to assemble these data.

The first round of the inventory of age estimation experts was completed in 1997.
Data was compiled into a database and released on the EFAN homepage. The contents
included names, addresses, species, experience (number of readings), geographical
and seasonal coverage. As might be expected, a large number of errors have been
detected. Moreover, several European experts have not been aware of the inquiry or
were by various mistakes not included in the expert database.
Two options were discussed to correct and update the expert database. Corrections
and new entries could be done directly on the internet by individuals. It was however
argued that this procedure might be slow due to low individual motivation and also
that it might create additional errors due to misunderstandings during the entry
operation. It was agreed that an extract of the database should be checked against the
original paper inquiry in order to reveal inconsistencies. Known new experts should
be approached and asked for relevant information on their age estimation experience.
The task was assigned to Johan Modin. It was, however, anticipated that future
updates might be achieved by individual entry directly to the EFAN homepage.

The results of the inquiry on problems in age estimation were used initially to identify
candidate species for exchange programs (section 2). However, the inquiry collided
with a similar inquiry on methodological problems issued by Cell 1 members. During
the 1998 EFAN plenary it was finally decided to merge these inquiries and to transfer
the responsibility to Cell 1 members. The information will be published on the EFAN
homepage.

Nils Hammer presented achievements in the compilation of ―grey literature‖. The task
has focused on inventories of exchange programs and age estimation workshops.
These activities are seldom published in per review papers and are often initiated by
concerned experts who are interested in their own professional skills rather than
publications. A consequence is that the original documentation is hard to obtain. The
Cell 3 members have therefore agreed that the compiled list should be accompanied
by an actual collection of documented information. The intention was that the actual
list and document copies should be made available at the EFAN secretary at the
Institute of Marine Research, Flodevigen, Norway. The results of the inventory will be
presented for transfer to the EFAN homepage during the next EFAN plenary.

EFAN members were requested to forward any information on exchange programs
and workshops to Nils Hammer, Federal Research Center for Fisheries, Institute for
Sea Fisheries, Palmaille 9, D-22767 Hamburg, Germany (email: hammer.ish@bfa-
fisch.de).

4. A new inventory on reference collections

Most age estimation experts keep collections of age reading material. These
collections might not consist of age validated material or even be used for standard
reference. However, a register of available collections would enhance the possibility
to compare material from different areas and historical sampling. An inventory should
also provide cues on how standard reference collections could be organised and used.

A questionnaire for information on available reference collections for ageing purposes
had been circulated to the EFAN institutes. The inventory was organised as a co-
operative effort by Nuno Formigo (Cell 3) and Paulo Santos (Cell 4). It was agreed
that these members should continue to compile answers and forward the collected
information for publication on the EFAN homepage. At a later stage it will be
possible to register reference collections directly through the internet.

5. Educational packages for age estimation of fishes
Jacques Panfili was invited to present an elaborated plan for a textbook on
―Sclerochronology‖. The initiative arose at the LASAA institute in Brest, France. The
objective is to produce a practical and educational manual for age estimation but also
to provide a methodological and technical synthesis on the state of the art. The book
will be translated to major European languages. The book will be based on topic
chapters written by contacted specialists. The arrangements had passed the
preparatory state and actual work had begun. The EFAN members unanimously
recommended the initiative for further funding.

Paul Connolly presented an almost full-fledged manual for otolith training and
tutoring. The manual named ―OTO‖ was presented as a software interaction tool
stored on CD-rom in htlm code. The product was developed by Paul Connoly at the
Fisheries Research Centre, Irland and Éamonn Twomey at the University College of
Cork, Ireland. The design was intentionally meant to serve as an introduction and a
manual for otolith readers. Contents included descriptions of otolith structure and
formation, processing techniques and a glossary with essential literature references.
The manual also contained an otolith quiz and an otolith reading test based on
digitised images from otoliths of important marine fishes.

The ―OTO‖ manual will be ready for distribution during early 1999 provided that
additional funding can be obtained. The Cell 3 members and later the EFAN plenary
agreed to issue a strong recommendation for the necessary funding of this essential
training module.

6. Preparation for an otolith atlas

Cell 3 members suggested that an European atlas of fish otoliths should be compiled.
The current documentation on otolith form and structure are found only in special
publications. More general descriptions of otoliths from European fishes are scare or
only available in one language. A compilation of otolith images could serve either of
two purposes: It could be used for identification of species or used as a general
reference on annuli structures by different species.

The atlas issue was discussed during an inter-cell meeting between Cell 2 and Cell 3
members. The Cell 2 had already outlined a project for the collection of otolith
images. The project aim was to test computer algorithms for various image qualities
from different species. It was agreed that the specified exchange format could be used
to collect otolith images according to a standard protocol.

The idea was further discussed during the EFAN plenary meeting. As a result an inter-
cell group was formed to explore the possibilities to create an otolith atlas within the
EFAN framework. Elected members were:

Co-ordinator Pedro Ré, Portugal
Western waters: Colm Lordan, Ireland
Northern waters: Finn Dahl Poulsen, Denmark
Southern waters: Alberto Garcia, Spain
Fresh waters: Magnus Appelberg, Sweden
The group should report to the EFAN plenary in 1999.

7. Recommendations

The Cell 3 members agreed to the following recommendations:

1. Exchange programs are an excellent means to monitor precision between readers
   and between institutes. However, protocols need to be further developed and
   specified in order to achieve a standard implementation.

2. The presented initiatives to develop educational tools for expert reference or more
   general use are strongly supported. Funding is recommended for the reference text
   book suggested by the LASAA institute (responsible scientist Jaques Panifili and
   Hervé Troadec). Funding is also strongly recommended for the almost finished
   electronic manual ―OTO‖ (on CD-ROM) developed by Paul Connolly at the
   Fisheries Research Centre and Éamonn Twomey at the University College of
   Cork, both in Ireland.

3. The existing database on age estimation experts should be checked for errors and
   updated with additional European experts. The task was assigned to Johan Modin.

4. Information of grey literature on exchange programs and age estimation
   workshops should be further collated and if possible released at the next EFAN
   plenary. All information on relevant grey publications as well as paper copies
   should be communicated to Nils Hammer, Federal Research Center for Fisheries,
   Institute for Sea Fisheries, Palmaille 9, D-22767 Hamburg, Germany (email:
   hammer.ish@bfa-fisch.de).

5. The inquiry on reference collections should be further distributed. Answers should
   be sent to Paolo Santos and Nuno Formigo, Instituto de Zoologia, Universidade do
   Porto, Praca Gomes Teixeira, P-4050 Porto, Portugal. A preliminary compilation
   should be presented at the next EFAN plenary.

8. References

ICES, 1994. Report of the Workshop on sampling strategies for age and maturity.
      ICES C.M. 1994/D:1, 67p.
Eltink, G., 1994. Comparison of otolith readings. Working document for the
      Workshop on sampling strategies for age and maturity, Copenhagen, 1994.
  EFAN CELL 4: Validation of ageing

  Co-ordinator: Beatriz Morales-Nin, Spain

  Table 6. List of active members of Cell 4 " Validation of ageing ".

First name      Last name                    Institute                   Country         EFAN
                                                                                      Participant #
Jose Pedro   Andrade            Universidade do Algarve                  Portugal          10
                                Campus de Gambelas
Guus         Eltink             Netherlands Institute for               Netherlands         17
                                Fisheries Research
Maria        Garcia             Inst. Espanol de Oceanografia             Spain             3
Teresa       Santamaria
M. Lourdes   Godinho            IPIMAR                                   Portugal            6
Paulino      Lucio              AZTI                                      Spain             11
Manuel       Meixide            Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia         Spain              3
Beatriz      Morales-Nin        CSIC Instituto Mediterraneo               Spain             19
                                Estudios Avanzados
Jari         Raitaniemi         Finnish Game and Fisheries                Finland           9
                                Research Institute
Paulo        Santos             Instituto de Zoologia                    Portugal           5
                                Universidade de Porto
Alexandra    Silva              IPIMAR                                   Portugal           6
Claus S.     Simonsen           Greenland Institute of Natural          Greenland/
                                Resources                               Denmark
C.           Papaconstantino    National Centre for Marine                Greece            28
             u                  Research
Carmen       Pineiro Alvarez    Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia         Spain              3
Vassiliki    Vassilopoulou      National Centre for Marine                Greece            28
                                Research


  Background

  The age of individual fish is estimated by interpreting the patterns recorded in the
  calcified tissue, which reflect intrinsic cycles of varying growth rates. Age
  determination is an essential feature in fish stock assessment to estimate the rates of
  moralities and growth. The use of incorrect growth and mortality rates can lead to
  rather large errors in estimates of stock production (Ricker, 1975). In order to arrive
  at appropriate management advice ageing procedures must be reliable.

  Validation means to prove that an ageing technique is accurate. The year-marks that
  are counted should be verified to occur annually. An ageing technique is only fully
  validated when each year-mark can be awarded to its specific age. Validation means
  also to estimate how accurate the age readings are. This implies estimations of how
  close the estimated age is compared to the true age. The accuracy of the age readings
  is dependent on the age, the age reader, the ageing technique, the otolith preparation
technique, etc. Quality controls should be carried out to estimate by age group how
accurate the ageings are of the individual age readers and of the whole group of age
readers, when ageings are used for assessment purposes, which evolve in management
advice on economically important stocks. Validation studies are both time-consuming
and difficult, since they require in most cases calcified structures of known age. A
range of techniques have been used, e.g. radiometric dating (radioactive isotopes),
mark-recapture experiments, modal progression in length-frequencies (mainly for the
younger age groups), seasonal frequency of hyaline and opaque edges, counts of
assumed daily increments, etc.


Tasks

          1. Collect and update the information up to what age the ageing technique
             has been validated by species, by stock, by area and by what validation
             method (together with references).
          2. To collect information on estimates of accuracy at the ageing by age
             group, by species, by stock and by area.
          3. To collect information on where calcified structures of known age are
             available.
          4. To advice on how age validation might be achieved for certain species
             which have ageing problems.

Milestones

No Milestones in 1998

Deliverables
 EFAN        Month                                         Deliverables
 Cell 4       22     List of validated ageing techniques by species, stock and area and if possible up to what
                     age this has been achieved (TD)




PORTO MEETING, October 1998
Cell Co-ordinator Beatriz Morales-Nin (Spain)

List of participants:

Pedro Andrade
Eugenia Lefkaditou
Paulino Lucio
Manuel Meixide
Carmen Gloria Piñeiro
Jari Raitaniemi
Paulo Santos
Claus Simonsen
Celia Vassilopoulou
Beatriz Morales-Nin


According to the Agenda of the EFAN Plenary meeting, members of Cell 4 met on 1st
October to discuss the progress in the issues identified in Arendal (January 1997) and
Brest (May 1998) as relevant for the objectives of the Cell.

The meeting started with the expression of the gratitude of the Cell members to the
first Cell Co-ordinator, Guus Eltink, for his excellent task and with the hope that his
increased workload does not impede his participation on the Cell tasks in the future.
Then, the current tasks of the Cell were reviewed:


1 Inquiry on reference collections

The form for the inquiry on validated ageing structures for quality control of the age
determination (training, precision and accuracy estimations) was accorded in Brest by
Cell 3 and Cell 4. The inquiry is co-ordinated by Nuno Formigo and Paulo Santos,
and it has been send to the EFAN participating institutions on September 1998. The
first answer was already received during the Meeting.

A preliminary enquiry form has been included in the EFAN home page. However, it
was accorded to modify it to have similar content as the form distributed by mail,
which include the definitions of the terms used in the form as well as the objective of
the enquire to encourage people to fill it. The online formulary has also to be sent to
the co-ordinators to allow them to check for errors or inconsistencies.


2 Review of validation studies

In Brest it was accorded that all Cell members will read at least 10 papers dealing with
validation studies, then they had to produce a summary containing information
relevant to the validation. However, the progress in this task has been small. Thus, it
was agreed to focus on the more relevant species for EFAN area. To include fresh
water fish as well as squids was considered necessary for a more comprensive
approach. A responsible for each species was identified. As the number of species is
quite considerable and the Cell members are not expert on all of them, help will be
sought between the EFAN members.


The list of relevant species and responsible is as follows:

Species                                      Responsible
Cod Gadus morhua                             Claus Simonsen
Hake Merluccius merluccius                   Carmen Piñeiro * Beatriz Morales
Blue whiting Micomesistius poutassou         Manuel Meixide
Withing Merlangius merlangus                 Alexandra Silva
Megrim Lepidorhombus wiffiagonis             Paulo Santos
Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus             Paulo Santos
Sole Solea vulgaris                          Paulo Santos
Plaice Pleuronectes platessa                 Paulo Santos
Horse Mackerel Trachurus trachurus           Celia Vassilopoulou
Mackerel Scomber scombrus, S.japonicus       Celia Vassilopoulou
Anglerfish Lophius piscatorius               Pedro Andrade
Sardine Sardina pilchardus                   MªTeresa Garcia
Anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus               MªTeresa Garcia
Sprat Sprattus sprattus                      Henrik Mosegaard
Herring Clupea harengus                      Alexandra Silva
Mullet Mullus barbatus, M.surmuletus   Celia Vassilopoulou
Coregonus Coregonus lavaretus          Jari Raitanemi
Eel Anguilla anguilla                  Jari Raitanemi
Perch                                  Jari Raitanemi
Squids                                 Pedro Andrade
To incorporate the results of this task in the EFAN home page, a format for the
summary was discussed and the following fields were identified as relevant:

1) Author
2) Year
3) Title of the publication
4) Journal
5) Study area
6) Species
7) Stock
8) Validation method applied and for which age ranges
9) Ages validated
10) Comments on the quality of the methods applied and other relevant comments.

The deadline of June 30th 1999 was established to send the summaries to the Cell co-
ordinator. A summary table will be prepared to be included in the EFAN home page
after approval at the next Cell meeting.

3 Age validation problems

In the Brest meeting hake and withing were identified as problematic species and
special effort were recommended to validate the ages of these important species.

 On the plenary meeting a review of 10 years ageing on hake from the Gulf of Biscay
was presented by Paulino Lucio. He also announced that a new project including
marking of hake and anglerfish has started this year. As the Cell recommended these
tagging experiments, it was considered as very satisfactory that this direct validation
method was going to be applied.

Carmen Gloria Piñeiro reviewed the Atlantic hake age determination and the
validation difficulties. The complex ring patterns and their variability as well as the
identification of the first ring and of the marginal increment, were the main problems
in age determination. However, since the Workshop on Hake age determination held
in Vigo in 1997 and the current otolith interchanges, the age variability has been
reduced.

The relevance and difficulty of the application of the validation methodologies were
recognised at the plenary meeting. It was considered that a workshop should be held
on Crete in 1999. The aims of the workshop have to be the revision of the available
data and the application of new methodologies, such as otolith microchemistry, to
validate the following case-study species: hake, withing, cod and eel. As much work
on validation of squid microstructures on statoliths has been carried out, the squids
were considered also as case-study group of species. The participation on the
workshop of other Cells members, and specially Cell 5, was encouraged.
  EFAN Cell 5: Research and application of ageing methodology

  Cell co-ordinator : Peter Wright, UK

  Table 7. List of active members of Cell 5 "Research and application of ageing
  methodology".

First      Last name         Institute                           Country        EFAN
name                                                                         Participant #
Enrico     Arneri            IRPEM-CNR                            Italy            8
Arild      Folkvord          Department of Fisheries and Norway                   29
                             Marine Biology
Alberto   Garcia             Centro Oceanografico de Malaga      Spain              3
John D.M. Gordon             Scottish Association for Marine       UK              30
                             Science
Audrey     Geffen            Port Erin Marine Laboratory           UK              31
Stellan    Hamrin            Inst.        Freshwater       Res. Sweden             13
                             Drottningholm
Richard    Millner           CEFAS                                 UK              22
Beatriz    Morales-Nin       CSIC Instituto Mediterraneo         Spain             19
                             Estudios Avanzados
Henrik     Mosegaard         Danish Institute for Fisheries Denmark                18
                             Research
Pedro      Re                Faculdade de Ciencias da           Portugal           32
                             Universidade de Lisboa
Isabel     Palomera          Institut de Ciencies del Mar        Spain             19
Jacques    Panfili           ORSTOM                              France            26
Henrik     Svedäng           National Board of Fisheries        Sweden             23
                             Institute of Coastal Research
Peter      Wright            S.O.A.F.D.                           UK               15
                             Marine Laboratory
                             Scotland


  Background

  The objective is to establish a forum to discuss and communicate research findings
  including the exchange of technical advances for the application and understanding of
  otolith microstructure, chemistry and novel ageing methods. These will include
  attempts to standardise and improve preparation, analytical methods and applications,
  and will link inter-disciplinary approaches to ageing studies.

  In addition to annual age determination, otoliths have an enormous potential for the
  study of fish populations. This is because otoliths may provide a permanent and daily
  record of a fishes age, growth and environmental water chemistry. Daily increments
  have been demonstrated in the otoliths of a wide range of species and life-history
  stages. Applications of otolith microstructure include size at age determination,
  growth back-calculation, estimation of size selective mortality, hatch dates analysis,
mortality estimation and pattern analysis for identification of life-history events, year-
class and sex determination. Additionally, microstructure can help in the verification
of annual increments by the characterisation of secondary growth structures, and is
therefore a valuable aid to annual increment validation. Otolith chemistry has been
used to infer the timing of fish movements between different water masses and in
spatial discrimination of fish stocks.

Despite the considerable potential of otolith microstructure and chemistry, the
application of this methodology is limited by two key factors. The first of these relates
to the many problems associated with the preparation and analysis of microstructure
and chemistry. These are related to the complex and variable crystalline structure
which can lead to aberration problems for light microscopy, and surface preparation
difficulties for scanning electron microscopy. Measurement of minor and trace
element chemistry in otoliths is complicated by the lack of standardisation in
analytical techniques, instrument sensitivity and processing of otoliths.

A second and more fundamental constraint to the application of otolith analysis
concerns our limited understanding of otolith formation. This lack of understanding
limits interpretation and may result in population applications being underpinned by
false assumptions. For example, daily increment width has been used to infer daily
growth rates in studies of size selective mortality. However, research has shown that
increment width is not causally related to somatic growth and may become uncoupled
under certain conditions. Identifying the mechanism controlling increment width is
therefore essential in order to predict when back-calculated size at age estimates may
be biased. Recent experimental investigations of elemental incorporation into otoliths
have also demonstrated that early assumptions regarding the inter-relation between
water and otolith chemistry were too simplistic.


Tasks

     1. Prepare a database on researchers, covering their current research interests
        and projects, publications and methodology.

     2. Preparation of critical reviews on the key questions for research and
        application of methodology.

     3. Organise workshop on otolith preparation and analysis for fine structural
        analysis.

     4. Organise workshop on advances in otolith research.


Objective

To establish a forum to discuss and communicate research findings including the
exchange of technical advances for the application and understanding of otolith
microstructure, chemistry and novel ageing methods. These will include attempts to
standardise and improve preparation, analytical methods and applications, and will
link inter-disciplinary approaches to ageing studies.


MILESTONES

    EFAN      Month                                            Milestones
    Cell 5     18      Establish database on otolith researchers and activities.
    Cell 5     19      Workshop on otolith preparation and analysis for fine structural analysis (after symposium
                       July 1998).



Deliverables
    EFAN      Month                                      Deliverables
    Cell 5     24     Report on otolith preparation and analytical methods, with recommendations for
                      standardisation. December 1998 (TD)
Tasks for 1998

     Prepare a database on researchers, covering their current research interests and
      projects, publications and methodology.

     Prepare reviews on otolith preparation and analysis for fine structural analysis.


Task 1

The production of a database on researchers has been delayed for a number of reasons.
A questionnaire was developed first as a hard copy and then as a downloadable Excel
spreadsheet from the EFAN web site. Copies were distributed at the 1998 otolith
symposium and by members of the cell. However, the return rate has been poor. In
order to overcome this problem the database managers have produced an online
version of the questionnaire. This has improved the success of this task and an initial
inventory of researchers and their activities should be available by the 24-month
deliverable date or shortly thereafter.

Task 2
The report arising from the 1997 workshop on otolith research and novel age
estimation methodology is now available as EFAN Report 1-98 (Annex 5). This
report is an additional deliverable to that given in the technical annex. The report
brings together much useful information on the status of otolith research by 1997. The
recommendations from the report give an indication of where cell 5 participants feel
that further research is needed. For example the report highlights that little is known
about the formation of annuli and why false structures are produced. Amongst the
applications section the report provides useful reviews of the relative merits of otolith
chemistry, radiometric dating, lipofuschin and microstructure for verifying annuli.

Task 3
A workshop on otolith preparation and analysis for fine structural analysis that was
timed to coincide with the Otolith symposium in June 1998 was held at the University
of Bergen, on the 18, 19 and 23 June. The purpose of the workshop was to review
otolith preparation techniques and interpretation of microstructure. The cell
considered three main areas; marking methodology, preparation techniques for thin
sections and microstructural features of the otolith. Many methods for inducing marks
on otoliths have been described but not in a single review. The workshop showed
there is little standardisation in microstructural preparation techniques. However, the
workshop enabled discussion of various preparation procedures and some
consideration of the relative merits of each. Some new ideas for thin section
preparation were also described. Despite a wealth of publications the workshop
highlighted the difficulties in interpretation of otolith structures and the terminology
used. Through illustration and extensive referencing of structures some
standardisation in interpretation was attempted. In addition to these main themes the
participants were given a demonstration of preparation for laser ablation ICPMS, a
technique that is used to investigate the environmental history of fish. The report
resulting from the workshop was intended to add to information already available
from previous reviews of otolith fine structure. The report will be freely accessible at
the EFAN web site (EFAN Report 2-98; Annex 6).

Task 4

During the plenary meeting in Porto this year the cell discussed the final workshop on
the application of advances in otolith research. It was decided that the workshop
should consider applications to recruitment studies, stock structuring and verification
of annuli. The workshop will be held in connection with the Plenary meeting in
Iraklion, Greece in October 1999.


Achievements

DB 11 on otolith researchers and activities was established following the development
of an online questionairre.



Dissemination of research results
McCurdy, W.J. and E. Moksness 1997. The establishment of EFAN - The European
       network of fish ageing laboratories. ICES CM 1997/HH:01 (Poster)

Anon. 1998. EFAN - The European Fish Ageing Network. Third European Marine
        Science and Technology Conference, 23-27 May 1998, Lisbon, Portugal
        (Poster)


EFAN Homepage (http:/www.efan.no)

The EFAN Homepage have been operating for 8 months with a reasonable high
activity. By the end of the year, 3 databases are in operation.
The EFAN discussing Forums have been established, however, up to this date the
activity on these pages has been very low. To give you an idea of the activity on the
homepage the number of ―hits‖ on the Homepage are given below, by months and the
number of hits by country.

By Month:
  04/97 |   6246 | ****************************************
  05/97 |   6799 | *******************************************
  06/97 |   8696 | ********************************************************
  07/97 |   3523 | **********************
  08/97 |    3019 | *******************
  09/97 |   3660 | ***********************
  10/97 |   8413 | ******************************************************
  12/97 |   5634 | ******************************
  01/98 |   5824 | *******************************
  02/98 |   7133 | **************************************
  03/98 |   8311 | *********************************************
  04/98 |   5660 | ******************************
  05/98 |   6966 | *************************************
  06/98 |   7746 | *****************************************
  07/98 |   9465 | ***************************************************
  08/98 |   8025 | *******************************************
  09/98 |   10333 | ********************************************************
  10/98 |   8748 | ***********************************************
  11/98 |   7491 | ****************************************
Top 50 Countries:

     Country            No. of hits         Country           No. of hits
            Norway                47754             Poland                  175
       United States              25752             Russia                  169
               Spain                5821            Turkey                  168
              France                5033         Singapore                  140
    United Kingdom                  4443            Croatia                 104
           Germany                  2849       South Korea                  103
             Canada                 1980      Luxembourg                    102
             Ireland                1845             Brazil                 102
            Sweden                  1832       Switzerland                   95
            Portugal                1718          Thailand                   80
        Netherlands                 1217        Macedonia                    79
                Italy               1118   Trinidad and To                   78
               Japan                1050         Argentina                   69
           Denmark                  1049           Mexico                    66
             Iceland                1035          Malaysia                   65
           Australia                 894         Indonesia                   63
             Greece                  755        Costa Rica                   59
             Finland                 512             Israel                  52
       New Zealand                   370         Colombia                    48
               Chile                 344        Yugoslavia                   47
              Latvia                 318           Estonia                   46
          Greenland                  314          Hungary                    46
             Taiwan                  251          Slovenia                   40
           Belgium                   247             China                   34
       South Africa                  181          Bulgaria                   33
Future actions
In 1999 there will be organised three Cell Workshops and one EFAN Plenary
meeting. The meetings are scheduled as follows:

   EFAN Cell 2 WS, Iraklion, Greece, 4 - 9 October 1999
   EFAN Cell 4 WS, Iraklion, Greece, 4 - 9 October 1999
   EFAN Cell 5 WS, Iraklion, Greece, 4 - 9 October 1999
   EFAN Plenary Meeting, Iraklion, Greece, 4 - 9 October 1999


Several databases are planned to be published on the EFAN Homepage and several
questionnaire have already been distributed among the partners. The following
EFAN Databases have been identified and will be available in the future:

Cell 1:
              DB4: Ageing Procedures
              DB5: Ageing Methodology

Cell 3:
              DB6: Reference collection, check collections Reader Consistency
              DB7: Otolith Meetings, calibration References
              DB8: Activity updates

Cell 4:
              DB9: References concerning age determination
              DB10: Age validation structure

Cell 5:
             DB11: Research programmes




Action requested from the Commission
No action is requested from the Commission
Annex
Annex 1: EFAN Newsletter 1/98

Annex 2: EFAN Newsletter 2/98

Annex 3: EFAN Newsletter 3/98

Annex 4: EFAN Newsletter 4/98

Annex 5: EFAN Report 1-98: The present status of otolith research and
            applications. Proceedings of a workshop, held at ORSTOM, Brest,
            France 27-29 May, 1997

Annex 6: EFAN Report 2-98: Otolith preparation and analysis. Proceedings of a
              workshop held at the University of Bergen, Norway, June 18-20,
              1998

Annex 7: EFAN Report 3-98: Establishment of a digital image reference
            database. Proceedings of a workshop held at the University of
            Porto, Portugal, 28-29 September, 1998

Annex 8: EFAN Report 4-98: by Mª Teresa García Santamaría "ANCHOVY
             (Engraulis encrasicolus) OTOLITH EXCHANGE (1997 - 1998)"

Annex 9: The path to accreditation

Annex 10: Quality assurance

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:8/3/2011
language:English
pages:52