Stocks of walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma collected from: (i) the Sea of Japan (off Rebun Island and Kumaishi); (ii) the Pacific coast (off Shikabe and eastern Hokkaido); and (iii) Nemuro Strait off Hokkaido, northern Japan, were examined for anisakid nematodes during Decem- ber 1999 to February 2000, and the prevalence and abundance of Anisakis simplex and Contra- caecum osculatum larvae were compared among the various sampling sites for fish of the same size and age. Anisakis simplex was generally more abundant than C. osculatum. Infection by A. simplex varied between the aforementioned stocks of walleye pollock as well as within stocks, whereby fish from off Rebun Island and Nemuro Strait were infected the most, followed by those from off the Pacific coast and Kumaishi. Infection by C. osculatum differed between the host stocks, and C. osculatum was the most abundant among the fish from Nemuro Strait. The infection variations seemed to be due to differences in host growth rate, host feeding habit, and the distribution of marine mammal final hosts. The results indicate that these two larval nematodes are useful biological indicators for the population study of walleye pollock in Japanese waters.
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