Evidence of size-selective fishing mortality from an age and growth study of hogfish (Labridae: Lachnolaimus maximus), a hermaphroditic reef fish
Abstract:This study is the first to validate the use of sectioned otoliths to age hogfish, Lachnolaimus maximus (walbaum, 1792), and it uses this method to age L. maximus from different regions of Florida, U.S.A. Maximum age of fish from the eastern gulf of Mexico (age 23) was nearly twice the maximum age of fish from south Florida (age 13). Average maximum size (i.e., von Bertalanffy L ∞) of fish from the eastern gulf (917 mm fork length) was more than twice that of fish from south Florida (428 mm). Instantaneous mortality rates were significantly lower in the eastern gulf (Z = 0.35) than in south Florida (Z = 0.40). within south Florida, there were significant variations in age, size, and mortality along a gradient: from the western, more inaccessible portions of the dry Tortugas and the Marquesas Keys, to the eastern, more accessible portions of the Florida Keys (Key Largo–Key west). Maximum age was lowest (9 yrs) between Key Largo and Key west, compared to the Marquesas Keys (11) or the dry Tortugas (13). Average maximum size was lowest between Key Largo and Key west (336 mm FL), compared to the Marquesas Keys (397) and the dry Tortugas (651). Total mortality was highest between Key Largo and Key west (Z = 0.48), compared to the Marquesas Keys (0.40), and the dry Tortugas (0.32). we conclude that the truncated age and size of fish in south Florida, particularly between Key Largo and Key west, were the results of size-selective fishing mortality in this region. Significant size and age differences were also evident between sexes because L. maximus is a sequential hermaphrodite.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2007
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