Gonadosomatic index and seasonal variations of plasma sex steroids in skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) from the western Indian ocean
IRD Brest, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France
2 IRD-Gamet, BP 5095, 34033 Montpellier cedex, France
3 Groupe biologie reproduction poissons, laboratoire biologie marine, université Bordeaux-I, avenue des facultés, 33405 Talence cedex, France
Accepted: 14 May 2001
A total of 361 skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) between 41.5 and 71.5 cm fork length and 333 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) between 48 and 150 cm fork length were collected in the western Indian ocean, between latitude 5° N to 10° S and longitude 45° to 65° E from February 1989 to November 1990. Yellowfin populations have one major reproductive season during the north monsoon while in skipjack the reproduction is almost continuous all year round with two peaks in activity during north and south monsoons. The gonadosomatic indexes (GSI) are correlated with the three climatic situations: the north monsoon, the south monsoon and two inter-monsoon seasons. The steroid hormone variations (oestradiol, oestrone and testosterone) are well correlated with the GSI in females. In males, maximum levels coincided with the two main reproduction periods in skipjack while the maximum values of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone levels were only found during the north monsoon. Even if both species are continuous spawners, these results indicate the existence of different reproductive traits, especially when considering steroidogenesis and vitellogenesis. These findings suggest that over our fishing zone, the reproductive activity is significantly modulated by climatic changes.
Key words: GSI / reproduction / steroid hormone / tuna
© Elsevier, IRD, Inra, Ifremer, Cemagref, CNRS, 2001