Age and changes in growth of the king weakfish Macrodon atricauda (Günther, 1880) between 1977 and 2009 in southern Brazil

Cardoso, Luis Gustavo; Haimovici, Manuel


The coastal demersal sciaenid Macrodon atricauda (Günther, 1880), formerly M. ancylodon (Bloch and Schneider, 1801) was sampled for ageing during four periods (1977–1979, 1984–1986, 1997–1998 and (2006–2009) in commercial fishing and scientific surveys along southern Brazil (Lat. 30◦S–34◦40 S). Maximum observed age was seven years, but no fish over five years old was sampled in the last period. Marginal increment analysis of thin sections validated ageing and showed that opaque and translucent bands were laid down at all ages in spring–summer and autumn–winter, respectively. Ageing M. atricauda based on sectioned otoliths is highly recommended because comparisons with readings on whole otoliths showed that ages based on whole otoliths exceeded those based on sectioned otoliths for 56.5% of the aged specimens. The growth of M. atricauda has increased in the last four decades, most noticeably in the case of adult males over two years old and females over three years old. A threefold decrease in its density and the demersal fish community as a whole are the most likely causes of the growth increase.

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  • IO - Artigos publicados em periódicos