Distribution and population structure of the red shrimp (Aristeus antennatus) on an unexploited fishing ground in the Greek Ionian Sea
National Centre for Marine Research, Agios Kosmas, 166 04, Hellinikon, Greece
Accepted: 22 May 2001
The distribution and population structure of the red shrimp, Aristeus antennatus, were investigated for an unexploited fishing ground in the Greek Ionian Sea (middle-eastern Mediterranean). A total of 8618 specimens, 7273 females and 1345 males was caught during a 12-month survey, from January to December 1997, at depths ranging from 400 to 800 m. Monthly size frequency distributions were analysed using different techniques, resulting in estimates of growth and mortality. Carapace lengths (cephalothoracic lengths, CL) ranged between 12 and 62 mm for females and 9 and 45 mm for males. The mean size of specimens exhibited statistically significant differences in relation to sex and months. Recruitment of both sexes occurred in mid-winter (January). Only the mean size of females seemed to increase with depth. Estimation of the von Bertalanffy growth parameters revealed high k values and a life expectancy of 4 and 5 years for males and females, respectively. A high percentage of specimens bore spermatophores during May and August, indicating that these months were peak breeding periods. Natural mortality rates ranged from 0.55 to 0.70 for females and from 0.62 to 0.79 for males, depending on the method used. Based on its biology and population dynamics, it appears that the red shrimp population in the study area has the potential to support a viable fishery.
Key words: growth / mortality / population structure / Aristeus antennatus / Ionian Sea / Mediterranean
© Elsevier, IRD, Inra, Ifremer, Cemagref, CNRS, 2001