A comparison of age and growth of the Bering skate from two Alaskan large marine ecosystems

paper8Published online on 03. March 2014

A comparison of age and growth of the Bering skate, Bathyraja interrupta ( Gill and Townsend, 1897), from two Alaskan large marine ecosystems

Shaara M. Ainsley, David A. Ebert, Lisa J. Natanson, Gregor M. Cailliet


The Bering skate, Bathyraja interrupta, is commonly found in both the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, where skates are a regular bycatch in commercial long line and bottom trawl fisheries. This is the first study to examine the age and growth of B. interrupta, and one of the few studies to directly compare growth parameters of a skate species between management regions. Ages were estimated based on band counts using the standard gross-sectioning method of vertebral centra preparation. Additionally, a preliminary investigation was conducted into the utility of the histological method. Several growth models were compared and the best-fit model for both regions was identified as the logistic model using the Akaike’s Information Criterion approach. No significant difference was detected between sexes for any model in either region; however, a slight but significant difference was found between regions. The parameters of the logistic growth model based on the gross-sectioned preparation were L = 82.80 cm TL and k−1 yr = 0.23 for the eastern Bering Sea and L = 86.94 cm TL and k−1 yr = 0.20 for the Gulf of Alaska. Age estimates from the gross sectioned vertebral centra provided a minimum longevity of 19 years and 21 years, respectively. Estimates based on the histologically prepared samples provide overall slightly higher age estimates, but the same maximum age of 21 years.

Fisheries Research, Volume 154, June 2014, Pages 17–25



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