Ecology and Reproductive Biology of Hagfish

Hagfish belong to one of the most primitive classes of fish in the world, Agnatha.  Although there is much information on the primitive nature of their physiology and biochemistry, little information exists about their reproductive biology and ecology. Hagfish are classified into five genera across the world but only two are primarily studied due to their abundance, Myxini and Eptatretus.  Of the 60 extant hagfish species, two species along the west coast of North America, Pacific hagfish (Eptatretus stoutii) and Black hagfish (Eptatretus deani), are becoming the target of important fisheries.  Both of these hagfish species range from Baja California to southeastern Alaska. With the decline in hagfish stocks along the West Pacific Ocean, markets are now focusing on acquiring hagfish from the East Pacific Ocean. In order to manage these hagfish stocks sustainably we need to learn more about hagfish reproductive biology and ecology. The goal of this symposium is to summarize current fisheries and conservation status of different stocks/species, draw comparisons in habitat use and life histories across populations and species, and present informationon on issues such as: gender identification, collection methods, and methods to address hermaphroditic reproduction in a fishery.
Aharon Fleury and Francis Juanes
Aharon Fleury and Francis Juanes
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