Validation of daily increment deposition in otoliths. Age and growth determination of Aphia minuta (Pisces: Gobiidae) from the northwest Mediterranean
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The transparent goby Aphia minuta (Risso, 1810) is one of the main target species of the small-scale fishery off the Island of Majorca. Otolith microstructure and length-frequency analysis were used to study the age and growth of this species during the 1982/1983 and 1992/1993 fishing seasons. Daily periodicity of increment formation was determined by experiments with marked otoliths in individuals maintained in captivity. The length range of the catches during the 11 yr period was between 12 and 49 mm, with a main distribution (89%) between 24 and 40 mm. Otolith age-readings indicate that the population exploited in the commercial fishery consists of seven age-groups (2 to 8 mo old), with a very high proportion of individuals (95%) between 3 and 6 mo old. Population growth-curves revealed no differences between males and females. The growth parameters for the whole population are: asymptotic length, L ∞ = 53.69 mm; growth coefficient, K = 2.23 yr−1; theoretical age at length zero, t 0 = −0.005 yr. Those individuals of A. minuta caught in Majorca during the winter period reached a maximum age of 7 or 8 mo.
KeywordsFishing Commercial Fishery Increment Formation Growth Coefficient Fishing Season
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