Age and growth of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) in the western equatorial Atlantic based on dorsal spines analysis




growth equation;, growth models;, growth parameters;, multi-model inference;, pelagic fish.


The skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) is a migratory pelagic fish occurring in all tropical and subtropical oceans of the world. Due to its economic importance and the unbridled increase in fishing efforts, stocks may collapse if this resource is not managed properly. The present study aimed to estimate growth parameters from different growth models based on annual rings from the dorsal spines of skipjack tuna caught in the western equatorial Atlantic. The first dorsal spine of each individual was extracted to produce cross-sections with 0.6 to 0.8 mm in thickness. We used a multi-model approach to select the best growth model based on the Akaike information criterion (AIC). Two hundred seventy individuals were analyzed, with an average length of 49.58 ± 7.72 cm. The von Bertalanffy growth model had the best fit to the data, but the Gompertz and Logistic models also had essential support. Average asymptotic length () was estimated to be 114.05 and 102.63 cm for observed and back-calculated data, respectively. The dorsal spines are indeed efficient tools for estimating growth parameters and multi-model inference is a novel approach for adjusting discrepancies that likely result from a single-model approach.


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