Age, growth and mortality of brown comber, Serranus hepatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Pisces: Serranidae), in the eastern Adriatic (Croatian coast)


Author's address: Jakov Dulčić, Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, POB 500, 21000 Split, Croatia. E-mail:


Age, growth and mortality were analysed for brown comber, Serranus hepatus, collected in the eastern Adriatic from May 2002 to June 2003. Fish aged 2–7 years were present in the samples. Growth in length including both sexes was expressed using the von Bertalanffy equation, L = 14.82, K = 0.217 and t0 = −1.672. Age class 2, ranging in length from 5.8 to 9.0 cm TL, dominated the sample (29.3%). Total and natural mortality were Z = 1.73 year−1 and M = 0.63 year−1, respectively. The exploitation rate, E = 0.64, revealed a high fishing pressure on the stock in the studied area.