Using fin ray chemistry to discriminate hatchery reared juvenile age-0 Persian sturgeons by their origin in the Southern Caspian Sea region using split stream ICP-MS/MC ICP-MS

Shima Bakhshalizadeh, Anastassiya Tchaikovsky, Ali Bani, Thomas Prohaska, Andreas Zitek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Trace elements integrated into fish fin rays from the ambient environment may represent a permanent record of the environmental conditions that an individual has experienced throughout its lifetime. Fish from hatcheries used for stocking may therefore carry a natural intrinsic tag of their origin, which can be then later used for assessing the efficiency of stocking measures. This study investigated the potential of the elemental and strontium isotope (n(87Sr)/n(86Sr)) composition of fin rays of juvenile Persian sturgeons (Acipenser persicus) to determine their origin. Water and pectoral fin ray samples of twenty age-0 juvenile Persian sturgeons were collected from the largest hatcheries in the east and west of the Southern Caspian Sea region. The elemental content and the Sr isotope ratio in water were determined by (multi collector) inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry ((MC) ICP-MS), while the elemental content in fin rays (Ba, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Sr) together with the Sr isotope ratio were determined using laser ablation split stream ICP-MS/MC ICP-MS. The elemental composition of Al, B, Ba, Ca, Cu, Fe, Ga, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Pb, Rb, Sr, Tl, U and Zn and the Sr isotope ratio of water differed between the investigated hatcheries from the east and west of the Southern Caspian Sea region. Fin rays reflected the elemental (Sr, Ba and Mn) and the Sr isotope composition of pool water of their hatchery of origin. A factor analysis yielded one main factor (high in Sr content and in the n(87Sr)/n(86Sr) ratio and low in Ba and Mn content) discriminating fin ray samples between sites explaining 86 % of the variation. A discrimination analysis by cross-validated classification yielded 100 % correct assignments of fin ray samples to the hatchery sites using all different parameter combinations. These results suggested that the Sr, Ba Mn elemental and Sr isotope composition of fin rays can be used for the determination of the source hatchery of stocked fish. This represents a valuable tool for evaluation restocking measures of Persian sturgeons in the Southern Caspian Sea region.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106093
Number of pages10
JournalFisheries research
Issue numberNovember
Early online date2 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Elemental fingerprint
  • Laser ablation split stream ICP-MS/MC ICP-MS
  • Microchemistry
  • Pectoral fin rays
  • Stocking
  • Strontium isotopes

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