Reproductive biology and spatiotemporal patterns of spawning in striped marlin Kajikia audax
This study presents the first histology‐based assessment of the reproductive dynamics of south‐west Pacific striped marlin Kajikia audax. Maturity and reproductive status were assessed from histological sections of ovaries (n = 234) and testes (n = 243) of fish caught in commercial longline and recreational fisheries between 2006 and 2009. Spawning peaked in the Coral Sea during November and December at sea surface temperatures between 24·8 and 28·3° C. Lower jaw fork length (L LJF) at 50% maturity (L LJF50), a key variable for stock assessment, was estimated to be 2100 ± 102 mm (mean +
s.e.) for females and 1668 ± 18 mm for males. Unlike large pelagic tunas Thunnus spp., the proportion of females increased with length and spawning
fish formed multiple large‐scale aggregations within a broad latitudinal band. This study provides a starting point for biological parameters needed for stock assessment and conservation of K. audax and introduces the multiple aggregation spawning concept as a reproductive mechanism
to explain genetic heterogeneity observed in some highly migratory species.
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Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: 2012-11-01