MEPS 203:255-261 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/meps203255

Age, growth and reproduction of the lane snapper Lutjanus synagris (Pisces: Lutjanidae) at Bermuda

Brian E. Luckhurst1,*, John M. Dean2, Marcel Reichert2

1Division of Fisheries, PO Box CR52, Crawl CRBX, Bermuda
2Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA

ABSTRACT: The sagittal otoliths of 300 lane snapper Lutjanus synagris (Linnaeus) with a size range of 18 to 37 cm fork length were analyzed to estimate age. Transverse sections of embedded sagittae were prepared for microstructural analysis. All specimens presented clear annular increments that were readily counted by 3 independent readers. Marginal increment analysis and OTC (oxytetracycline)-injected specimens held in captivity validated that 1 increment was formed annually. The results enabled us to estimate von Bertalanffy growth parameters (growth coefficient, K = 0.395, asymptotic length, L0 = 33.09, t0 = -1.95). Ninety percent of L 0 is reached in 4 yr and first sexual maturity is attained in the 1+ yr class. There was no significant difference in the growth-parameter estimates between males and females. The high correlation between otolith weight (OW) and age permits the use of OW as a proxy for age in future stock assessments. The maximum age of 19 yr determined in this study is the oldest age recorded for this species in the western Atlantic Ocean.

KEY WORDS: Lane snapper · Age · Growth · Otoliths · Reproduction · Fisheries management

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