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Variability in size at maturity of the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) in the Mediterranean Sea


Published: Dec 31, 2021
Keywords:
Macroscopic maturity stage condition factor geographical variability Mediterranean Sea Black Sea.
ROSALIA FERRERI
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7339-4942
SIMONA GENOVESE
MARCO BARRA
ILARIA BIAGIOTTI
JEAN-HERVE BOURDEIX
ANDREA De FELICE
DENIS GAŠPAREVIĆ
TAREK HATTAB
MAGDALENA IGLESIAS
TEA JURETIĆ
IOLE LEONORI
SARA MALAVOLTI
VIOLIN ST RAYKOV
CLAIRE SARAUX
VJEKOSLAV TIČINA
ANA VENTERO
GUALTIERO BASILONE
Abstract

Size at first sexual maturity (L50) represents an important life history trait in the development of management measures providing fundamental information to avoid the exploitation of younger individuals. L50 is known to display variability due to fishing pressure, geographical gradient and environmental features. In this study, in order to investigate L50 variability among areas of the Mediterranean and Black Sea, maturity ogives of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) were estimated by considering samples collected during the anchovy spawning period in the framework of the MEDiterranean International Acoustic Survey (MEDIAS) program. Anchovy size and sexual maturity data from several Geographical Sub-Areas (GSA) – i.e. Northern Spain, Gulf of Lion, Tyrrhenian Sea, Strait of Sicily, Adriatic Sea and Black Sea – were gathered according to a standard methodological protocol. Maturity ogives were estimated by means of a logistic regression taking into account  total length, condition factor, sex and GSA. Obtained results evidenced a significant effect of condition factor, fish in better condition reaching maturity earlier, as well as differences in L50 values among areas and between sexes, with males reaching the maturity at lower length than females. Even though the obtained L50 estimates are relative to the spawning period only, the observed variability at the Mediterranean basin scale highlights the importance to explicitly consider the habitat peculiarities in order to provide management advices based on an ecosystem approach to fishery.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Special Issue MEDIAS
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