Bathymetric distribution and growth patterns of Bathypterois mediterraneus from the north-western Mediterranean Sea


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Bathypterois mediterraneus was collected on 148 bottom trawls between 147 and 2251 m depth in the north-western Mediterranean. The species appeared below 700 m, its relative abundance and biomass increased progressively and reached its maximum at 2100-2300 m. A total of 1913 specimens were measured, ranging from 4 to 20 cm standard length (Ls). The size composition with depth did not show any specific trend, and no modal progression could be distinguished in the length frequency distribution by cruise, with dominance of large fish (13-15 cm Ls) and a unimodal size pattern. The otoliths of 173 specimens were examined and showed the ring pattern common to teleost fishes. The age ranged between 0 and 15 years, although specimens of 4-12 years old were the most abundant. The growth parameters and the growth curve obtained from the interpretation of the growth rings in otoliths showed a low growth rate.