Using trace elements in otoliths to discriminate between wild and farmed European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) and Gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata L.)


Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, P. O. Box 99, 03080, Alicante, Spain


Trace elements in otoliths of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) and sea bream (Sparus aurata L.) from fish farms and coastal wild populations in the western Mediterranean Sea were analysed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Results showed that concentrations of Mg, K, and Mn differed significantly between wild and farmed sea bass, while concentrations of Mg, K, Mn, Fe, Zn, Sr, and Ba varied significantly between wild and farmed sea bream. Discriminate analysis and cross-validation classification showed that the trace element profile in otoliths can be used to separate farmed fish from wild stocks with high accuracy on both sea bass (individuals correctly classified: 90.7 %) and sea bream (individuals correctly classified: 96.6 %). Moreover, trace elements in otoliths resulted to be useful to discriminate among wild fish stocks within each species.