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Fishes 2018, 3(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/fishes3030031

Improved Growth Estimates for Lethrinus harak: Measuring Increments, Adjusting Ages, and Fitting Flexible Growth Models

1
Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
2
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Beaufort, NC 28516, USA
3
Sea Sense, 324/D Msasani Village, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 23 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract

Thumbprint emperor (Lethrinus harak) are a widely distributed, tropical species ranging throughout the Indo-Pacific region. In coastal Tanzania, overfishing is likely occurring and thumbprint emperor are commonly represented in catches. The goal of this study was to estimate age and growth to provide basic life history information that may help inform future management. We sampled a total of n = 55 thumbprint emperors from both fishery-dependent and fishery-independent sources. Annular age estimates were improved with measurements of otolith markings. Fish ages ranged from zero to five years. We also evaluated the addition of otolith edge size (a proxy for fractional age) to age estimation, and fit two von Bertalanffy growth models—one for the whole ages and one for the fractional ages—using a flexible Bayesian framework. Growth parameters were similar between the two models, and ultimately, L (maximum asymptotic size parameter) estimates were comparable to other published values for the species, although our estimates of K (growth coefficient parameter) were smaller. Robust aging techniques for tropical fishes can provide a foundation for basic fishery management, which would help to sustain the future of this widely distributed fish. View Full-Text
Keywords: artisanal; Lethrinidae; otolith; growth artisanal; Lethrinidae; otolith; growth
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Midway, S.R.; Ostrowski, A.; West, L.; Hernandez, M.; Robertson, M.D. Improved Growth Estimates for Lethrinus harak: Measuring Increments, Adjusting Ages, and Fitting Flexible Growth Models. Fishes 2018, 3, 31.

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