Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 32, 2019
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||28 March 2019|
Stock dynamics of the brushtooth lizardfish Saurida undosquamis (Richardson, 1848) from a tropical multispecies fishery in the southeastern Arabian Sea
Demersal Fisheries Division, ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute,
Ernakulam North PO,
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Handling Editor: Nicole Richoux
Accepted: 23 February 2019
The brushtooth lizardfish Saurida undosquamis (Richardson, 1848) is a high trophic level benthic predator and is one among the most exploited demersal finfish species from eastern Arabian Sea by Indian trawlers. However, in recent years, the landings of many top predator fishes including S. undosquamis showed a declining trend resulting in a steady decline in the mean trophic levels of the fishes caught commercially in the region. We investigated the growth, mortality and stock dynamics of S. undosquamis harvested by mechanised trawls in the southeastern Arabian Sea, using length-based methods for the data collected during 2012–2016. Besides, Bayesian state-space implementation of the Schaefer model (BSM) and catch-based MSY (CMSY) estimation were also made using the data for the period 1985–2016. Total length of the fish ranged from 5.5 to 34.5 cm with average annual mean length of 22.0 cm during 2012–2016. The growth parameters L∞ and K were 37.3 cm and 0.41 year−1, respectively. The natural, fishing and total mortality coefficients were 0.92, 2.58 and 3.5, respectively and exploitation ratio was 0.82. The length at first maturity was estimated at 21.4 cm for females. The mean size in the catch is lower than the optimum length for exploitation. Fisheries reference points (MSY, Fmsy, Bmsy) as well as relative stock size (B/Bmsy) and exploitation (F/Fmsy) estimated from catch data and broad priors for resilience (r), implies an exploitation of 30% below Bmsy level. Results from the length-based Thompson and Bell prediction model indicates that reducing the present level of fishing effort by 40% would lead to a harvest of the species at a sustainable level. As “fishing down food web” is reported in recent years from eastern Arabian Sea, the exploitation of top predators need to be maintained at sustainable levels to prevent ecosystem changes along the region.
Key words: Bayesian Schaefer Model / exploitation / trophic level / lizardfish / population dynamics / southeastern Arabian Sea
© EDP Sciences 2019
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