Life history of red grouper (Epinephelus morio) off the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina
Abstract:The objective of this research was to update the knowledge on the life history of red grouper Epinephelus morio (Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1828), a commercially important species off North Carolina and South Carolina. A total of 2146 specimens was sampled from commercial catches and obtained with fishery-independent gear between December 1996 and September 1999. Red grouper ranged in total length (TL) and age from 315 to 851 mm and from 2 to 20 yrs. Observed length-at-age was described by the following von Bertalanffy growth equation: TL (mm) = 853(1−exp (−0.209(age (yr)+0.812))). Sex and reproductive state of 2068 red grouper were assessed by histological analysis. Of these, 86.8% were classified as female, 5.9% as transitional, and 7.3 % as male. Age at 50% maturity was 2.4 yrs and TL at 50% maturity was 487 mm. The sex ratio of red grouper was 1 male to 6.6 females. Red grouper was confirmed to be a protogynous hermaphrodite. Age at 50% transition was 7.2 yrs and TL at 50% transition was 690 mm. Spawning in females occurred between mid-February and mid-June. Spawning females were captured on multiple locations off the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts, at depths between 33 and 90 m.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2007
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