Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus Biology and Management Across Their Native and Invasive Ranges: Promoting Conservation by Knowledge Transfer
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Authors: Guo, Z., Andreou, D. and Britton, J.R.
Journal: Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture
© 2017 Taylor & Francis. The anadromous sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus native range extends across the Northern Atlantic and includes much of Europe. Their complex lifecycle, involving freshwater spawning, juveniles (ammocoetes) that remain in freshwater for up to eight years, and adults migrating to sea before returning to reproduce, means native populations in Europe are threatened by multiple stressors, especially migration blockages and habitat loss. This has resulted in population declines across their European range, despite their ecological, evolutionary, and economic significance. Information on their population demography and long-term patterns are also scarce, with focus primarily on their ammocoete freshwater phase. This is inhibiting the development of biological reference points for utilization in population monitoring programs. In the Great Lakes of North America, however, P. marinus is invasive and the high damage caused to commercial fisheries resulted in their populations being controlled through a long-term, multi-method and integrated research and management approach over the last 40 years, with the development and application of a range of novel methods. Successful knowledge transfer to Europe could therefore facilitate the monitoring of threatened populations and develop new conservation actions, including modifying migration blockages to facilitate passage, implementing adult trapping programs, and applying pheromone treatments to manipulate adult movements and behaviors. This reveals the potential utility of using invasive fish populations to inform conservation practices in native ranges, and how pheromone research could further enhance fish conservation and monitoring.