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Maturity and batch fecundity of the European hake (Merluccius merluccius, Linnaeus, 1758) in the eastern central Atlantic
Hammou El Habouz, Laura Recasens, Souad Kifani, Abdellatif Moukrim, Abdellah Bouhaimi and Salaheddine El Ayoubi

The reproductive biology of the European hake (Merluccius merluccius, Linnaeus, 1758) was studied on the eastern central Atlantic Moroccan coast from November 2001 to December 2003. The sex ratio was close to 1:1 for the specimens with a total length of less than 45 cm. European hake spawned all year round, though two spawning peaks were recorded with a certain interannual variability: the first and main peak in winter and a secondary intermittent peak in summer. Length at first maturity was estimated as 28.6 cm and 33.8 cm total length for males and females, respectively. These values are closer to Mediterranean than Atlantic hake values. The mean batch fecundity was 299872 eggs ind–1. The relative batch fecundity was estimated as 228 eggs per gram of gutted weight. Batch fecundity increased proportionally with fish length and weight. The batch fecundity of European hake in the Moroccan Atlantic area is higher than that in northern Atlantic and northwestern Mediterranean areas.

Keywords: Merluccius merluccius, sex ratio, reproductive cycle, length at first maturity, fecundity
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 75(3) : 447-454 Back PDF
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