Temporal and spatial population genetic analyses in common octopus (O. vulgaris) from the southern area of the Bay of Biscay.

Negin Pirhadi

Octopus vulgaris is a cephalopod species with great economic value. In Asturias (north of Spain), O. vulgaris artisanal fisheries are relatively well monitored and conditionally eco-labelled. Despite the huge market power of this species, Asturian O. vulgaris stock have not genetically assessed so far. For improving the current fishery plan and ensure the label validity in Asturias, 308 individuals from 5 different locations were collected and genotyped at thirteen microsatellite loci to study the levels of spatial and temporal genetic variation among stocks and identify specific management units for O. vulgaris populations along the eastern coast of North Atlantic. Spatial levels of genetic differentiation were estimated using F-statistics, multidimensional scaling and Bayesian analyses. Results indicated that the O. vulgaris stocks consists of five genetically different populations. All of them were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium with no evidence of recent bottlenecks. In addition, temporal analyses showed high Ne^s and genetic stability in 9 generations. Even though, Asturias fishery plan has shown no current significant damages to stocks, the regional specific management may need implementation of smaller schemes since genetic heterogeneity was found within Asturias. Findings from this pioneer research are the basis for further genetic studies and subsequent sustainable fishery schemes.