Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 77, Issue 3–4, pp 211–228 | Cite as

Age and growth studies of chondrichthyan fishes: the need for consistency in terminology, verification, validation, and growth function fitting

  • Gregor M. Cailliet
  • Wade D. Smith
  • Henry F. Mollet
  • Kenneth J. Goldman
Elasmobranchs

Abstract

Validated age and growth estimates are important for constructing age-structured population dynamic models of chondrichthyan fishes, especially those which are exploited. We review age and growth studies of chondrichthyan fishes, using 28 recent studies to identify areas where improvements can be made in describing the characteristics of ageing structures (both traditional and novel) utilized to estimate ages of sharks, rays, and chimaeras. The topics identified that need consistency include the: (1) terminology used to describe growth features; (2) methods used to both verify and validate age estimates from chondrichthyan calcified structures, especially edge and marginal increment analyses; and (3) the functions used to produce and describe growth parameters, stressing the incorporation of size at birth (L0) and multiple functions to characterize growth characteristics, age at maturity and longevity.

Keywords

Age validation Precision analysis Chondrichthyes Growth Longevity Vertebrae 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

We dedicate this paper to all our graduate students and colleagues who have made it possible for us to keep up with the studies of fish age and growth, especially those who helped generate and evaluate ageing techniques. We really appreciate the efforts of John Carlson and Ken Goldman in putting together the slate of symposium speakers (and contributors to this volume) at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and American Elasmobranch Society Annual Meeting in 2005 entitled “Age and Growth of Chondrichthyan Fishes: New Methods, Techniques, and Analyses” in Tampa, Florida, 6–11 July, 2005. We appreciate the constructive comments on this manuscript by Colin Simpfendorfer, Jack Musick and several other anonymous reviewers. We acknowledge John Carlson, Ivy Baremore, Malcolm Francis, and C.O. Maolagáin for allowing us to use their figures. This study was supported by funds from NOAA/NMFS to the National Shark Research Consortium.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregor M. Cailliet
    • 1
  • Wade D. Smith
    • 1
  • Henry F. Mollet
    • 1
  • Kenneth J. Goldman
    • 2
  1. 1.Moss Landing Marine LaboratoriesMoss LandingUSA
  2. 2.Alaska Department of Fish and GameHomerUSA

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