Growth and reproduction of the highfin grouper Epinephelus maculatus

Rhodes, K.L., Taylor, B.M., Hernandez-Ortiz, D., and Cuetos-Bueno, J. (2016) Growth and reproduction of the highfin grouper Epinephelus maculatus. Journal of Fish Biology, 88 (5). pp. 1856-1869.

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Highfin grouper Epinephelus maculatus sampled in Chuuk, Micronesia, exhibited a moderate growth rate and a relatively short life span compared to other epinephelids of a similar size. Combined gonad and otolith analysis provide preliminary evidence that the species conforms to a protogynous sexual pattern. Mean total length at maturity for females was 308 mm with first age at maturity 2.8 years for females and 4 years for males, which differs from other regional studies. Based on the gonado-somatic index and microscopic analysis of gonads, E. maculatus in Chuuk have a 4 month spawning season (January to April) that corresponds with seasonal lows in sea surface water temperature and overlaps with that of other aggregating epinephelids. The estimated von Bertalanffy growth factor (K) was 0.51 per year, while total mortality was 0.34 per year. Current management for E. maculatus in Chuuk includes a January to May catch, sale and export ban, which overlaps with its reproductive season. The effectiveness of these arrangements will require on-going monitoring to determine whether alternative management strategies are required to ensure population persistence.

Item ID: 49256
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8649
Keywords: fisheries management, otoliths, pacific fisheries, protogyny, spawning aggregations
Funders: U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs (DIOIA), Margaret A. Cargill Foundation
Projects and Grants: DIOIA D14AP00030-0001-4T18
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 02:10
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310903 Animal developmental and reproductive biology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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