AS  Vol.4 No.6 A , June 2013
Population structure and reproductive parameters of the Longneck croaker, Pseudotolithus typus (Pisces, Bleeker, 1863) in nearshore waters of Benin (West Africa) and their implications for management
ABSTRACT
Pseudotolithus typus is one of the two commercially important Sciaenids off Benin nearshore waters mainly fished by beach seining. Unfortunately, since 1994, the production of this species has been decreasing, and increasingly more small-sized fishes are regularly harvested, while little is known about the species’ population structure and its life history. Therefore, population structure, probability of capture and size at first capture were investigated using length-frequency data of 1144 specimens sampled from beach seine hauls over a period of 18 months. A total of 54.3% of this population was immature, confirming the domination of smallsized fishes in the catches. Gonad maturation stages were also examined. Frequency distribution of oocyte size exhibited two cohorts of mature oocytes suggesting two spawning periods per year. Monthly averages of gonado-somatic index confirmed that P. typus spawned twice a year during the major warm season (March - May) and during the transition minor warm to minor cold season in October - November. Length at first capture (L75 = 22.76 cm) was smaller than the length at first sexual maturation (L50% = 23.6 cm) indicating a heavy pressure of the beach seine on this resource. To give each fish the chance of reproducing at least once in its lifetime to recruit into the stock, necessary measures such as the size-limit regulation by gradually increasing beach seine mesh size should be developed. Community-based management of the nearshore fishery could contribute to reducing fishing effort during the reproductive periods from February to May and from October to December each year.

Cite this paper
ossoukpe, E. , Nunoo, F. and Dankwa, H. (2013) Population structure and reproductive parameters of the Longneck croaker, Pseudotolithus typus (Pisces, Bleeker, 1863) in nearshore waters of Benin (West Africa) and their implications for management. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 9-18. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.46A002.
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