Morphometric variation in the cutlassfish Trichiurus lepturus on the Kenyan coast: implications for stock identification and management
Morphometric variation was used to study population structure of the cutlassfish Trichiurus lepturus on the Kenyan coast. In all, 16 morphometric measurements taken from 193 individuals from six sites were subjected to multivariate statistical analysis in order to determine possible stock differentiation. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated significant differences in the means of a combination of the morphometric characters among the sites, and discriminant function analysis by groups showed the presence of phenotypically distinct populations on the south and north coasts of Kenya. A classification tree analysis of morphometric characters validated the distinct groups and indicated certain characters to be useful for classifying specimens to source sites. The likely presence of distinct north and south stocks of T. lepturus on the Kenyan coast observed in our study will require validation by other methods, but indicates the potential need for spatially explicit models for managing fish populations on a large spatial scale.
Keywords: bottom trawl, fisheries management, gillnets, morphometrics, multivariate analysis