Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 97, Issue 10, pp 1083–1093 | Cite as

Reproductive ecology of the female pink cusk-eel (Genypterus blacodes): evaluating differences between fishery management zones in the Chilean austral zone

  • Laurie L Baker
  • Rodrigo Wiff
  • JC Quiroz
  • Andrés Flores
  • Renato Céspedes
  • Mauricio A. Barrientos
  • Vilma Ojeda
  • Claudio Gatica


The pink cusk-eel (Genypterus blacodes), a benthic-demersal fish confined to the southern hemisphere, supports an important commercial fishery in Chile where it is exploited over an extensive geographic area. Although the fishery was originally divided into a northern (41º28′–47º00′S) and southern (47º00′–57º00′S) zone for the purposes of fisheries management, recent studies have reported significant differences in life history parameters between these zones. Individuals from the southern zone reached larger asymptotic sizes and possessed higher survival rates compared to the northern zone. We estimate and compare the gonadosomatic index (GSI), shape of the maturity ogive, and length at 50 % maturity (L 50%) of female G. blacodes between management zones and across time using biological data collected from the industrial fleet between 1985 and 2009. Females in the northern zone had higher monthly mean GSI than females in the southern zone. Our analyses also revealed L 50% to be significantly higher in the southern zone than in the northern zone from 1985 to 2009. The significant differences in life-history traits between fishery management zones agree with the trade-offs predicted by Charnov’s life history theory. Together these results provide additional support for the hypothesis that two separate stocks exist and suggest that females from the northern zone have developed a life-history strategy, which favours early maturation and a proportionally greater investment in reproduction than females from the southern zone.


L50% Genypterus blacodes Fisheries Chile Reproduction Maturity 



This work was funded by grants awarded to Laurie Baker from the British Ecological Society (BES) and from the Instituto de Investigacíon Pesquera (INPESCA). This project was made possible by the Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP-Chile), who developed the 2012 sampling programme and stock assessment projects of G. blacodes. During the course of writing this manuscript R. Wiff was funded by CONICYT/FONDECYT post doctoral project number 3130425. We would like to also thank Aurora Guerrero from the Undersecretariat of fisheries (SUBPESCA) for her comments and logistical advice in the early stages of this work. We are also grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and constructive criticism.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurie L Baker
    • 1
    • 6
  • Rodrigo Wiff
    • 3
  • JC Quiroz
    • 2
  • Andrés Flores
    • 2
  • Renato Céspedes
    • 2
  • Mauricio A. Barrientos
    • 4
  • Vilma Ojeda
    • 2
  • Claudio Gatica
    • 5
  1. 1.AngusUK
  2. 2.División de Investigación PesqueraInstituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP)ValparaísoChile
  3. 3.COPAS Sur-Austral, Departamento de OceanografíaUniversidad de ConcepcíonConcepcíonChile
  4. 4.Instituto de MatemáticasPontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaísoValparaísoChile
  5. 5.Instituto de Investigacíon PesqueraTalcahuanoChile
  6. 6.Ocean Tracking Network, Department of BiologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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