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Open AccessArticle

Reproductive Cycle of the Edible Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Echinodermata: Echinoidae) in the Aegean Sea

Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Thessaly, GR-38445 Nea Ionia Magnesia, Greece
Department of Zoology, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(5), 1029;
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from HydroMediT 2018)
The sustainable management of fisheries resources requires extensive knowledge of their reproductive biology, which is scarcely the case for marine invertebrates. Sea urchins are among the most intensively harvested invertebrates, since their gonads, or “roe”, constitute a highly appreciated gastronomic delicacy, causing a severe decline in natural populations worldwide. In the Mediterranean, the typical commercial echinoid species is Paracentrotus lividus; its biology, however, has not been adequately studied in the Aegean Sea. Within this context, the present study examined the reproductive biology of the edible sea urchin, P. lividus, in the Aegean Sea (Pagasitikos Gulf) over a two-year period. Adult specimens were randomly collected by SCUBA diving (3–5 m) at monthly intervals to determine the gonad-somatic index, fecundity, and gametogenesis through the morphological and histological examination of the gonads. An annual reproductive cycle was defined in both years with a clear spawning peak in early spring, conforming to previous reports from other Mediterranean populations. A discrete secondary spawning period was also detected in early winter, as the species undergoes a second gametogenic event. These results are indicative for the increased reproductive potential of P. lividus in its south distributional range, suggesting a relevant revision of the official fishing season of the species. View Full-Text
Keywords: reproduction; histology; sea urchin; Paracentrotus; Pagasitikos Gulf reproduction; histology; sea urchin; Paracentrotus; Pagasitikos Gulf
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Vafidis, D.; Antoniadou, C.; Kyriakouli, K. Reproductive Cycle of the Edible Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Echinodermata: Echinoidae) in the Aegean Sea. Water 2019, 11, 1029.

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