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Age and Growth Studies in Indian Oil Sardine (Sardinella longiceps) using Hard Part Microstructure, a Tool for Biological and Ecological Understanding


Age and growth characteristics of the Indian oil sardine (Sardinella longiceps) was studied by interpreting microstructures on hard parts. Microstructures were validated to the time scales by observing their frequency of formation on hard parts of the fishes reared in confinement. Among the hard parts, sagittal otolith alone was found suitable for ageing the species as frequency of microstructure formation on them followed definite time scale. The estimates of age at length data and growth parameters from otolith analysis indicated faster growth in the species than the earlier estimates by other methods. Despite an expected sexual divergence in their growth, results show identical growth in both sexes. It further highlighted the prevalence of very distinct temporal growth variation driven by habitat environment indicating significance of hard part studies on ecological understanding of fishes. It also aided in tracing the precise time of birth with high precision, identifying the cohorts that supported the fishery and possible inter-regional migration of the species. The data generated from hard part ageing would aid in better eco-biological understanding of species, precise stock assessment outputs and fishery forecasting.

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Data Availability

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Authors are grateful to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) for the support in establishing fish ageing facility at the Institute. We sincerely acknowledge, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) for his constant encouragement and support in carrying out the work. Dr. G. Syda Rao, former Director, of the Institute and Dr. K. S. Mohammed, former Head, Molluscan Fisheries Division, is also thankfully acknowledged for their motivation and support.


The research leading to these results received funding from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP).

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Author 1. Conceptualization, supervision and writing original draft, Author 2. Formal Analysis, Author 3. Resources and supervision, Author 4. Software analysis, Author 5. formal analysis, resources, Author 6. Investigation, resources. Author 7. Investigation, resources, Author 8. Investigation, resources, Author 9. Software analysis, Author 10. writing review and editing, Author 11. Funding acquisition, supervision.

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Correspondence to E. M. Abdussamad.

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All experiments have been conducted as per the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi. Only dead fish samples collected from the fish landing centers were used for this study.

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Abdussamad, E.M., Rohit, P., Ghosh, S. et al. Age and Growth Studies in Indian Oil Sardine (Sardinella longiceps) using Hard Part Microstructure, a Tool for Biological and Ecological Understanding. Thalassas (2022).

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  • Ageing
  • Hard parts
  • Sagittal otoliths
  • Microstructures
  • Ecology
  • Stock assessment
  • Forecasting