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    A method for preparing large numbers of otolith sections for viewing by scanning electron microscope

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    J.R. Ashford, K. Robinson and M.G. White (United Kingdom)
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    In an investigation of the age structure of a population of Notothenia coriiceps Richardson at the South Orkney Islands, Antarctica, the microstructure of otoliths was examined. Progress is reported on a method used for processing large numbers of otoliths using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Compared with previous SEM techniques, which normally prepare otoliths individually for viewing, this allowed larger sample sizes to be examined. Compared with similar light microscope techniques, this method gave enhanced resolution particularly for discerning edge structures, and thus may facilitate present methods of ageing fish populations, especially for fishery work in the Antarctic where otoliths are often small and difficult to interpret using conventional techniques.