Age, Growth, and Natural Mortality of Rock Hind, Epinephelus Adscensionis, from the Gulf of Mexico
Rock hind, Epinephelus adscensionis (Osbeck, 1765), sampled from commercial and recreational fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico from 1991 to 2009 (n = 367), were aged by counting opaque bands on sectioned sagittal otoliths. Analysis of otolith edge type (opaque or translucent) revealed that annuli formed January–June, peaking in April and May. Estimated maximum age for rock hind was 33 yrs. Mean observed sizes at ages 3, 5, 10, 20, and 30 yrs were 291, 320, 352, 391, and 417 mm total length (L), respectively. The von Bertalanffy growth equation for rock hind was Lt = 428 (1 – e(–0.07(t + 13.77))) when the model was allowed to optimize all parameters, and Lt = 375 (1 – e(–0.35(t + 0.5))) when t 0 was fixed at –0.5. The weight-length relation for rock hind was W = 1.394 × 10–5 L 3.033, where W = whole weight in grams. Based on modal distribution, rock hind from the eastern Gulf of Mexico were larger and older than those from the western gulf; however, mean size-at-age was not significantly different.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-10-01
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