Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 80, Issue 2–3, pp 293–308 | Cite as

Age and growth estimates for the smooth skate, Malacoraja senta, in the Gulf of Maine

  • Lisa J. Natanson
  • James A. Sulikowski
  • Jeff R. Kneebone
  • Paul C. Tsang
Special Issue Skates


Age and growth estimates for the smooth skate, Malacoraja senta, were derived from 306 vertebral centra from skates caught in the North Atlantic off the coast of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, USA. Males and females were aged to 15 and 14 years, respectively. Male and female growth diverged at both ends of the data range and the sexes required different growth functions to describe them. Males followed a traditional growth scenario and were best described by a von Bertalanffy curve with a set L o (11 cm TL) where L inf  = 75.4 cm TL, K = 0.12. Females required the use of back-calculated values to account for a lack of small individuals, using these data they were best described by a von Bertalanffy curve where growth parameters derived from vertebral length-at-age data are L inf  = 69.6 cm TL, K = 0.12, and L o  = 10.


Vertebra Skate Age 



We would like to extend our appreciation to Malcolm Francis for running our Schnute growth functions and providing invaluable insights into that method. Additionally, both Malcolm and John Carlson provided much appreciated time saving spreadsheets, which made our analysis less painful. We would also like to thank Olivia Marcus for help in processing the histological samples and Joseph Deppen for sealing the slides. We appreciate the help provided by Karen Tougas in formatting this paper and the continued support of all members of the Apex Predators Investigation. This work was supported by New Hampshire Sea Grant Development grant #NA16RG1035.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa J. Natanson
    • 1
  • James A. Sulikowski
    • 2
  • Jeff R. Kneebone
    • 3
  • Paul C. Tsang
    • 3
  1. 1.USDOC/NOAA/NMFSNarragansettUSA
  2. 2.Marine Science CenterUniversity of New EnglandBiddefordUSA
  3. 3.Animal and Nutritional SciencesUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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