Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 337–349

Age and growth of big skate (Raja binoculata) and longnose skate (R. rhina) in the Gulf of Alaska

  • Christopher M. Gburski
  • Sarah K. Gaichas
  • Daniel K. Kimura
Special Issue Skates

DOI: 10.1007/s10641-007-9231-8

Cite this article as:
Gburski, C.M., Gaichas, S.K. & Kimura, D.K. Environ Biol Fish (2007) 80: 337. doi:10.1007/s10641-007-9231-8

Abstract

In 2003, big skates, Raja binoculata, and longnose skates, Raja rhina, were the target of a commercial fishery around Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) for the first time. The sudden development of a fishery for these species prompted the need for improved life history information to better inform fishery managers. Due to the selective nature of the skate fishery, mostly larger individuals were captured. Back-calculation from skate vertebral measurements was used to estimate size-at-age for younger skates. Because back-calculated age-length data within individuals were highly correlated, bootstrap resampling methods were used to test for differences between male and female growth curves. Results from bootstrapping indicated that differences between male and female growth were statistically significant for both species. This investigation indicates that growth of big skates in the GOA (max size 178 cm total length, max age 15 years) is similar to that in California, but different from that in British Columbia. For longnose skates, our GOA results agree with those reported in British Columbia, but were considerably older (max size 130 cm, max age 25 years) than those reported in California, which may not be surprising because longnose skates in the present study were generally larger. This life history information suggests that both big and longnose skates are at risk of unsustainable exploitation by targeted fisheries.

Keywords

Alaska skate fisheriesAge determinationBack-calculationRajidae

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher M. Gburski
    • 1
  • Sarah K. Gaichas
    • 1
  • Daniel K. Kimura
    • 1
  1. 1.National Marine Fisheries ServiceAlaska Fisheries Science CenterSeattleUSA