Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The red mullet Mullus surmuletus is one of the main target species of the trawling fishery along the continental shelf off the Island of Majorca. The size distribution of the catches, and the reproduction, age and growth of this species have been studied based on sampling carried out from 1990 to 1992. The length range of the catches was between 10 and 32 cm, with a main distribution between 15 and 20 cm, but this included small specimens (recruits of 10 to 11 cm) from August. In the 〉19 cm length-class, females clearly dominated. Monthly variations in the gonadosomatic index (GSI) and in the percentage of mature specimens showed that males spawn from December to June, whereas the reproductive activity of the females centres around spring. Fifty percent of males and females mature at 15 and 16.8 cm, respectively, corresponding to 1 yr of age. Otolith age-readings indicate that the population exploited in the trawl fishery consists of six age-groups, including a very high proportion of individuals between 0 and 4 yr old. Population growth curves revealed that females grow comparatively slowly over a longer period of time and attain greater asymptotic sizes than males. The growth parameters for the whole population are: asymptotic length, L ∞=31.28 cm; growth coefficient, K=0.211 yr-1; theoretical age when length is zero, t 0=-2.348 yr.
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