Growth Estimates for Three Species of Reef Fish in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico
Abstract:In this paper we describe growth of three species of reef fish from the eastern Gulf of Mexico by estimating parameters of the von Bertalanffy growth equation from release-recapture observations. These estimates of growth were then compared to those previously estimated from various hard-part and back-calculation analyses. The three fish examined in this study, gag (Mycteroperca microlepis), greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili), and red grouper (Epinephelus morio), are all important species to both the recreational and commercial fisheries of Florida's west coast. We compared estimates of growth between the two methods by calculating the proportional error in size-at-age predicted by the two growth curves. The ages of gag observed in the fishery range from approximately age 3 to 9; within this range the maximum error occurred at age 9 and was 26 mm (2.68%). The ages of greater amberjack observed in the fishery range from approximately 1 to 5; within this range the greatest error occurred at age 1 using the otolith growth curve (156 mm, 38.61%). The majority of red grouper observed in the fishery range from approximately age 5 to 8; within this range the maximum error occurred at age 8 (-31 mm, -4.45%). The results of this study suggest that recent estimates of growth for gag and red grouper are accurate and can be used with a reasonable degree of certainty. Estimates of growth for greater amberjack are not as certain.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1997-11-01
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