MEPS 235:235-256 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/meps235235

Essential relationships incorporating the influence of age, size and condition on variables required for estimation of reproductive potential in Atlantic cod Gadus morhua

Gudrun Marteinsdottir1,2,*, Gavin A. Begg2,**

1University of Iceland, Institute of Biology, and
2Marine Research Institute; Skulagata 4, PO Box 1390, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland
*E-mail: **Present address: CRC Reef Research Centre, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

ABSTRACT: Evidence accumulated over the last decade indicates that reproductive potential of marine fish stocks is not correctly represented by spawning stock biomass. Fundamental variables that affect reproductive potential of fish stocks (i.e. proportion mature at age, fecundity, and offspring size and viability) have found to vary with age, size, and condition of spawning fish, and/or spawning experience. Modeling initiatives that attempt to describe reproductive potential by incorporating all available information on reproductive variables require extensive, high quality data of a temporal and spatial origin. In this study, we explored the influence of female age, size, and condition on several reproductive variables for the cod Gadus morhua, including maturity, fecundity, egg density and size, and larval size and growth. In addition, we described the potential for annual variation in these relationships to increase our knowledge of temporal stability for fundamental variables that influence reproductive potential.

KEY WORDS: Cod · Maturity · Fecundity · Egg size · Larval size · Stock-recruitment · Population dynamics · Fisheries management

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