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Otolith laboratory

The otolith laboratory is a working space located in the Biocentre 3 building in Viikki, in the Department of Aquatic Sciences at the University of Helsinki. The otolith laboratory processes about 5000 herring and 2000 whitefish otoliths for dissection each year. Occasionally, other fish species such as perch, pike perch and trout are also cut. The age samples of herring are photographed using EDF and stored in the Suomu database, from which the age is read by an age-determiner from the downloaded images.

Kuva: Juha Metso/Plugi.

In addition, the otolith laboratory processes the age-sampled teeth from Luke's seal studies into slices for age determination. Around 300 seal samples are processed each year. The same method can be used to process teeth from other mammals, for example, reindeer, moose, deer and roe deer.


  • four drawers
  • display cabinet with exhaust
  • Struers Accutom 100 precision saw
  • Zeiss AX10 microscope camera with ZenCore 3.2 imaging software