Testing the paradigm of old age and slow growth in New Zealand snapper, Pagrus auratus (Sparidae): re-evaluation of the Tasman Bay/Golden Bay tagging experiment
Fisheries management of the New Zealand snapper (Pagrus auratus: Sparidae) has been dominated since 1975 by the idea that P. auratus is a slow-growing, long-lived fish. An experiment based on tagging and tetracycline injection was carried out in New Zealand in 1986-87 to validate this idea. The data relating to that experiment are now in the public domain. Re-examination of the data shows that previous claims of slow growth and old age based on partial reporting of the data cannot be sustained from the observed growth of tagged fish. Examination of all the tagging data implies that maximum age may be lower than previously estimated, and that both natural mortalities and fishing mortalities may be higher in the study area than has been previously reported. Re-examination of the data shows that the scientific validity of the management of P. auratus on the basis that it is a long-lived fish may not be well founded.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-03-01
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