Age and growth of pompano, Trachinotus ovatus, from the Strait of Messina (central Mediterranean Sea)
Danilo Malara, Francesco Longo, Luca Pagano, Maria Giulia Stipa, Teresa Romeo, Franco Andaloro, Silvestro Greco, Pietro Battaglia

This is the first paper to provide detailed information on the age and growth of Trachinotus ovatus. The size of the 244 individuals collected in the Strait of Messina ranged from 2.7 to 30.4 cm in fork length (LF) and 0.31 to 508.6 g in body mass (M). The relationship between these parameters (M - LF) was investigated and showed a good fit. Age estimation based on vertebrae and otoliths yielded similar results, suggesting a maximum age of five years. However, the precision and accuracy tests, such as percentage of agreement (PA), mean coefficient of variation (ACV) and average percent error (APE) indicated that the otolith readings (97.83% PA, 0.54% ACV and 0.38% APE) were more reliable for age estimation than vertebrae readings (82.17% PA, 5.33% ACV and 3.77% APE). The multi-model inference approach allowed us to compare different non-linear growth models. The von Bertalanffy model (L=29.139, k=0.496 and t0=−0.347) fitted the length-at-age data best. This species has a relatively rapid growth and an estimated longevity of five to seven years. This information could be used for management and first stock assessment studies on T. ovatus in the Mediterranean Sea.

Keywords: otolith; vertebrae; age determination; growth models; length-weight relationship; Carangidae
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 85(3) : 175-185 Back PDF
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