Temporal and geographic variability of sardine maturity at length in the northeastern Atlantic and the western Mediterranean
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AuthorsSilva, A. (Alexandra); Santos, M.B. (María Begoña); Caneco, B. (Bruno); Pestana, G. (Graça); Porteiro-Lago, C. (Carmen); Carrera-López, P. (Pablo); Stratoudakis, Y. (Yorgos)
Maturity at length
We investigate spatial and temporal variations in sardine maturation patterns and discuss the implications for stock structure, using recent samples collected opportunistically across the species range and data collected regularly for the assessment of the Atlanto-Iberian stock. Maturity ogives were fitted to maturity-at-length data using Generalized Linear Models, and maturation patterns are summarized by length at first maturity (L50). Sardine attain sexual maturity at a total length of 10.9e16.8 cm. The percentage of mature small sardine increases from north to south across the Northeast Atlantic. L50 is low in the Mediterranean and Moroccan waters, but maturation is delayed towards the limits of the species’ range. Sardine mature smaller in the Gulf of Cadiz than in other areas of the Atlanto-Iberian stock, although there is no indication of a different maturation pattern north of the stock boundary. These results are not sufficient to review the stock structure of sardine, ...
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