Virginia Institute of Marine Science
MARINE AND COASTAL FISHERIES
Drastic increases or decreases in biomass often result in density-dependent changes in life history characteristics within a fish population. Acknowledging this phenomenon and in light of the recent biomass increase in Barndoor Skate Dipturus laevis, the current study re-evaluated the growth rate and sexual maturity of 244 specimens collected from 2009-2011within closed areas I and II on Georges Bank, USA. Ages were estimated using vertebral band counts from skate that ranged from 21 to 129cm TL. The von Bertalanffy growth function was applied to pooled age-at-length data. Parameter estimates from the current study of L = 155cm TL and k = 0.10 represent a significant decrease from previously reported parameters of L = 167cm TL and k = 0.14. In addition to changes in growth parameters, age at 50% maturity for both males (based on clasper length, testes mass, and percent mature spermatocytes) and females (based on data from shell gland mass, ovary mass, and follicle diameter) increased by 3years and 4years, respectively. Based on our results and the 10- to 12-year gap in the collection of samples, it is likely that Barndoor Skate within this region have exhibited pliability in life history parameters.
GULF-OF-MEXICO; WESTERN GULF; SEXUAL-MATURITY; LEUCORAJA-ERINACEA; AMBLYRAJA-RADIATA; WINTER SKATE; AGE; MAINE; SIZE; EXTINCTION
We thank the captains and crews of the FV Celtic and FV Endeavor of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and William DuPaul, Jessica Bergeron, and Ryan Knotek for aid in the collection of skate. We further show appreciation to the Sulikowski research laboratory for aid in dissections and transport of specimens. This project was supported by the University of New England Honors Program and College of Arts and Sciences Summer Research Stipend, Marine Science Department, Marine Science Center.
Karson Coutré , Todd Gedamke , David B. Rudders , William B. Driggers III , David M. Koester & James A. Sulikowski (2013) Indication of Density-Dependent Changes in Growth and Maturity of the Barndoor Skate on Georges Bank, Marine and Coastal Fisheries, 5:1, 260-269, DOI: 10.1080/19425120.2013.824941