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Keywords:

  • Aquaculture;
  • Dicentrarchus labrax;
  • escapees;
  • exotic species;
  • introduction;
  • Sphaerospora testicularis

Abstract

Aquaculture activities have introduced European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) along the coasts of some of the Canary Islands. We present the first record of simultaneous male and female gonad maturation of escaped sea bass in the wild, indicating that this species is finding its essential fish habitat (EFH). Individuals with ripe gonads were only caught during January and February 2009, although the maturation and spawning season may last from November to February in the studied area (Tenerife island). Bass infected by Sphaerospora testicularis were found and the incidence of the parasite was checked. This represents the southernmost record of the parasite, probably introduced together with sea bass stock. The results are discussed from the point of view of risk assessment and the ecology of invasions being valuable for aquaculture management in Central North Atlantic and Mediterranean areas.