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Reproductive biology and implications for management of the painted sweetlips

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The reproductive biology of the painted sweetlips Diagramma pictum was determined from 487 individuals collected between January and December 2010 in the southern Arabian Gulf. There was no evidence of sex change and the combination of histological results with the sex composition of the size and age structures indicated a gonochoristic sexual pattern. There were peaks in gonado‐somatic indices for females in March and October with spawning occurring during two seasons (April to May and November). The mean size and age at sexual maturity (L m50 and A m50) were 35·7 cm fork length (L F) and 2·9 years for females and 26·7 cm L F and 0·5 years for males. The maximum recorded age (11 years) and small mean size and young age at sexual maturity for males may be a direct result of intensive demersal fishing in the southern Arabian Gulf. There was an exponential increase in the cumulative reproductive potential with size and a linear increase with age for both sexes. The mean L F (L c50) at which D. pictum became vulnerable to capture was 33·3 cm, which corresponded to only 3 and 7% of the cumulative reproductive potential of males and females, respectively. Size‐specific and age‐specific reproductive potential indicated that conventional regulations that equate the mean size at first capture to sexual maturation are unsuitable for the management of D. pictum.

Document Type: Regular Paper



Publication date: 2011-09-01

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