• age;
  • alfonsino;
  • growth;
  • maximum likelihood estimation;
  • otolith;
  • von Bertalanffy growth equation


This paper estimates the age and growth of the alfonsino Beryx splendens in the waters around the Izu Islands off the Pacific side of Japan. The samples consist of 250 fish of the landings of the offshore longliners from December 1995 to November 1996 and 10 fish of the coastal longliners in February of 1995. By the surface method using a microscope, a reader counted the number of hyaline and opaque zones on the sagittal otoliths, judged whether the edge was hyaline, and measured the radii from the focus to the outer edge of each hyaline zone. In order to estimate the parameters of the von Bertalanffy’s growth equation representing the overall ages, the age and fork length data and the mean length at 1 year old. In a previous study were used for the maximum likelihood approach. From the results, the rate of readability of the otolith from the offshore samples was 97.6% and that from the coastal samples was 100%. The monthly changes in the frequency of the opaque edge showed that the hyaline and opaque zones were laid down once a year. The hyaline zone began to form from May to July (peaking in August). The ages of the offshore samples for both the sexes ranged from 2 to 23 years, and those of the coastal samples 2 to 5, respectively. The estimated growth curves were expressed by l(t) = 44.4[1–exp{–0.132(t + 3.45)}] for males and l(t) = 45.0[1–exp{–0.150(t + 2.08)}] for females, where l(t) and t denote the fork length (cm) and the age in years, respectively. The issues to be resolved in the future were discussed.