Distribution, growth, and mortality of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) larvae in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Simms, Jeffrey R. and Rooker, Jay R. and Holt, Scott A. and Holt, G. Joan and Bangma, Jessica (2010) Distribution, growth, and mortality of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) larvae in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Fishery Bulletin, 108(4), pp. 478-490.

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Abstract

Ichthyoplankton surveys were conducted in shelf and slope waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico during the months of May–September in 2005 and 2006 to investigate the potential role of this region as spawning and nursery habitat of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus). During the two-year study, 2426 sailfish larvae were collected, ranging in size from 2.0 to 24.3 mm standard length. Mean density for all neuston net collections (n=288) combined was 1.5 sailfish per 1000 m2, and maximum density was observed within frontal features created by hydrodynamic convergence (2.3 sailfish per 1000 m2). Sagittal otoliths were extracted from 1330 larvae, and otolith microstructure analysis indicated that the sailfish ranged in age from 4 to 24 days after hatching (mean=10.5 d, standard deviation [SD]=3.2 d). Instantaneous growth coefficients (g) among survey periods (n=5) ranged from 0.113 to 0.127, and growth peaked during July 2005 collections when density within frontal features was highest. Daily instantaneous mortality rates (Z) ranged from 0.228 to 0.381, and Z was indexed to instantaneous weight-specific growth (G) to assess stage-specific production potential of larval cohorts. Ratios of G to Z were greater than 1.0 for all but one cohort examined, indicating that cohorts were gaining biomass during the majority of months investigated. Stage-specific production potential, in combination with catch rates and densities of larvae, indicates that the Gulf of Mexico likely represents important spawning and nursery habitat for sailfish.

Item Type: Article
Title: Distribution, growth, and mortality of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) larvae in the northern Gulf of Mexico
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Simms, Jeffrey R.
Rooker, Jay R.
Holt, Scott A.
Holt, G. Joan
Bangma, Jessica
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 108
Number: 4
Page Range: pp. 478-490
Date: 2010
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 8743
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2012 09:03
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2012 09:03
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/8743

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