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Age, growth and reproduction of the barrelfish Hyperoglyphe perciformis (Mitchill) in the western North Atlantic

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Otoliths (n = 847) and gonads (n = 817) were collected from barrelfish Hyperoglyphe perciformis that were captured by commercial fishermen in the waters off South Carolina and Georgia in 1995, 1997 and 2001–2006. Of the otoliths collected, 97% were aged successfully, and specimens sampled ranged from 5 to 85 years, with a median age of 12 years. The von Bertalanffy growth parameters yielded the equation: Lt= 857·8{1 − e−0·0985[t−(−8·95)]}, where Ltis fork length (LF) at time t. Through histological examination, 94% of the gonads assessed were assigned to a sex and reproductive class. Females spawned from September to May with a peak from November to January. Males spawned year round, but had a peak from September to April. The sex ratio (M:F) for this population was 1:1·34. The smallest mature female was 605 mm LF and the youngest immature female was 697 mm LF. Estimates of LF and age at 50% maturity (L50 and A50) for females were 660 mm LF (95% CI = 633–667 mm LF) and 6·08 years (95% CI = 3·50–7·27 years), respectively. The youngest mature male was 575 mm LF and the oldest immature male was 762 mm LF, and no estimates of L50 or A50 were made for males. It was determined that barrelfish exhibit the typical characteristics of long life span, slow growth and high age at maturity seen in other deepwater fishes, and that care should be taken to manage this species accordingly.
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Keywords: Blake Plateau; Centrolophidae; deepwater; intersex; maturity; spawning

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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