Reproductive ecology and growth of marine catfishes (Ariidae) supporting sustainable fisheries in Banc d’Arguin National Park, Mauritania

Edna Correia*, Camilo Carneiro, António Araújo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Marine fish stocks are increasingly being exploited to unsustainable levels. Yet, knowledge of basic biological and ecological traits of species, required to sustain fisheries management at a local scale, remains scarce. We investigated the reproductive biology and growth of two marine catfishes: rough-head sea catfish (Arius latiscutatus) and Guinean sea catfish (Carlarius parkii). Both species showed one spawning season between May and June. Nevertheless, as these are mouth brooding species, we have considered that the reproduction season may be underway until August. Mean fork length of females at first maturity was ∼40 cm for A. latiscutatus and 35 cm for C. parkii, corresponding to 4–5 years for both species. Higher fecundity was found in larger females, with a mean of 45 and 26 eggs for A. latiscutatus and C. parkii, respectively. Differences recorded in sex ratio throughout the year suggest that females can leave the study area after the spawning season or that differences in behaviour may lead to differential sex catchability. The two species showed similar growth curves, despite A. latiscutatus reaching larger lengths at the same age. Estimated length–weight relationships suggest that both species present a positive isometric growth pattern. Our results highlight the slow life-history strategy of the two studied catfish species, thus emphasizing their vulnerability to fishing activities. We suggest that a short-term fishing closure during the spawning period (May–June) in the PNBA may be an important management measure to ensure reproduction opportunities for both species and, therefore, guarantee fishing sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-599
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Biology Research
Volume16
Issue number8-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported MAVA Foundation; Fondation Internationale du Banc d'Arguin; Funda??o para a Ci?ncia e a Tecnologia [grant number: PTDC/BIA-ECO/28205/2017, UIDB/50017/2020, UIDP/50017/2020]. We are grateful to PNBA?s direction and staff and to Fondation Internationale du Banc d?Arguin and MAVA Foundation for logistical and financial support. We gratefully acknowledge the help of park wardens and Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Oceanographique et des P?ches (IMROP) technicians whose field knowledge and help were very useful. We are grateful to Paulo Santos from Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto for all guidance. We thank Teresa Catry for the manuscript revision. Funda??o para a Ci?ncia e a Tecnologia (FCT Portugal) provided additional financial support through project PTDC/BIA-ECO/28205/2017 and CESAM through UIDB/50017/2020 and UIDP/50017/2020.

Funding Information:
We are grateful to PNBA’s direction and staff and to Fondation Internationale du Banc d’Arguin and MAVA Foundation for logistical and financial support. We gratefully acknowledge the help of park wardens and Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Oceanographique et des Pêches (IMROP) technicians whose field knowledge and help were very useful. We are grateful to Paulo Santos from Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto for all guidance. We thank Teresa Catry for the manuscript revision. Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT Portugal) provided additional financial support through project PTDC/BIA-ECO/28205/2017 and CESAM through UIDB/50017/2020 and UIDP/50017/2020.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Other keywords

  • applied research
  • conservation
  • Fisheries
  • Imraguen
  • marine protected marine areas
  • west Africa

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