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Age structure and growth parameters were determined for a population of small spotted grunt, Pomadasys commersonnii in the Arabian Sea. Small spotted grunt samples were collected monthly between September 2007 and August 2008 by beam trawl [40 mm cod-end mesh size] surveys conducted along the Arabian Sea coast of Oman from Ras Al-Had in the north to the Oman-Yemen border in the south west of Salalah between latitudes 16o 33' N and 22o 21' N and longitude 53o 09' and 59o 55' E and from depths of 20 to 250 m respectively. Marginal increment analysis of the sagittal otolith confirmed the deposition of annual increments on transverse sections, validating this technique for age and growth studies. Fish size (Fork Length, FL) ranged between 33-78 cm and age of fish ranged between 2 and 14 years with 5-9 year old fish comprising the majority of the catch. Both males and female exhibited asymptotic patterns of growth and the combined growth curve for both sexes provided von Bertalanffy growth (VBG) parameters of L∞=77.2 cm FL (≡83.8 cm Total Length), k =0.232 y-1 and t0 =-0.058 y. VBG parameters, derived from Length-Frequency Distribution Analysis (LFA) using ELEFAN1, PROJMAT and SLCA, obtained similar values (average values for the 3 methods: L∞ = 78.8 cm FL, k =0.35 y-1 and t0 =-0.64 y) to those obtained from otolith analysis. A strong linear relationship was observed between otolith weight and age, and although age residuals ± 4 years was observed between sagittal otolith age and estimated age (depending on sex and otolith weight), the results indicated that otolith weight could be used as a rapid proxy to estimate age and derive VBG parameters. In conclusion, both otolith ageing and LFA methods provided similar L∞ and k values and the average values derived from all 4 methods lies within the auximetric plot for the species providing confidence in the VBG parameters obtained for small spotted grunt in the Arabian Sea.


  • Pomadasys commersonnii, fisheries ecology, fisheries resources, growth, age validation, otolith, length frequency analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-841
JournalJournal of Applied Ichthyology
Issue number4
Early online date24 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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