Age, growth and reproductive biology of the rough skate off the Gulf of GabesPublished online on 29. April 2013
Age, growth and reproductive biology of the rough skate, Raja radula (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae), off the Gulf of Gabes (southern Tunisia, central Mediterranean)
Hasna Kadri, Sondes Marouani, Mohamed Nejmeddine Bradai and Abderrahmen Bouaïn
Age, growth and reproductive parameters were estimated for Raja radula from the Gulf of Gabes (southern Tunisia, central Mediterranean Sea), collected monthly during 2007 from commercial fisheries. In total, 550 females (18.5–80.0 cm TL) and 400 males (13.4–65 cm TL) were examined to study the reproductive cycle. A subsample of 272 specimens (140 females and 132 males, ranging from 15.5 to 80 cm in total length, TL) was used for age and growth estimation derived from vertebral centra. The marginal-increment and edge analysis showed annual deposition of growth bands. The oldest female in the study was 12 years old and 80 cm in TL, whereas the oldest male was 9 years old and 65 cm in TL. The von Bertalanffy growth parameters were L∞ = 76.36 cm, K = 0.22 year–1 and t0 = –0.16 years for males. There was no significant difference in growth between the sexes. The size-at-maturity was 47.05 cm for males and 56.48 cm for females. The age-at-maturity was estimated to be 4.47 and 5.89 years, respectively, for males and females. There was no significant difference of size- and age-at-maturity between the sexes. Females carrying egg cases occurred throughout the year. Variations in the gonadosomatic and hepatosomatic indices showed a continuous reproductive cycle throughout the year.
Marine and Freshwater Research, Online Early Version.