Age, growth, mortality, food and reproduction of the scamp, Mycteroperca phenax, collected off North Carolina and South Carolina
From 1972 to 1979, 7,980 scamp, Mycteroperca phenax, were sampled from South Atlantic Bight fisheries: 3,075 were obtained from the recreational headboat fishery and 4,905 from commercial handline vessels operating out of South Carolina. Biological data were analyzed to determine growth, mortality rates, the reproductive cycle, and diet. Annulus formation on otoliths occurred between December and April. The oldest fish aged was 21 years and measured 893 mm fork length (FL). Back-calculated mean lengths at annulus formation were 216, 336, 415, 470, 515, 552, 584, 613, 639, 663, 686, 707, 726, 746, 769, 791, 820, 833, 873, 883, and 893 mm FL, at ages 1 to 21. The von Bertalanffy equation describing theoretical growth was 1t, = 985(1 − e−0.092(t+2.45)) where 1t, = FL in mm at time t. The length–weight relationship for combined sexes was W = 2.4 × 10−8FL2.910 where W = weight in kg, and FL = fork length in mm. The relationship of total length (TL) to fork length was FL (mm) = 0.870(TL) + 23.625. Annual instantaneous total mortality (Z) estimates ranged from 0.29 to 0.64, for samples from headboats, and from 0.57 to 0.91 for samples from commercial vessels, but the estimates are suspect because of the unusual form of the catch curves. A Beverton and Holt yield-per-recruit model suggests a maximum yield-per-recruit of 600 g when the instantaneous fishing mortality is 0.5 and recruitment ages are 4 to 6 years. Scamp spawned from April through August with a peak in May and June, and fed on fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. The five most frequently occurring foods were unidentifiable fish, round scad (Decapterus punctatus), tomtate (Haemulon aurolineatum), unidentifiable serranids, and vermilion snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens).
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 1986
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