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Age validation, growth and annual reproductive cycle of chub mackerel Scomber japonicus off the waters of northern Kyushu and in the East China Sea


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The age and growth of chub mackerel Scomber japonicus collected from the East China Sea and the northern waters off Kyushu between June 2000 and June 2001 were determined by observing the otolith surface after dipping it in xylene. The translucent and opaque zones on the otolith surface were identified, and the number of translucent zones was counted. Monthly changes in the frequency of fish with translucent zones on the otolith margin, and in the marginal increments, indicated that the translucent zones were formed between April and June. The seasonal pattern of annulus formation on the otolith became clear by observing the otoliths of fish with known ages, and the otolith formation in wild fish was consistent with that of fish with known ages. The mean gonadosomatic index of male and female fish was high from March to May, and spawning females were observed from mid-March to mid-May. The estimated ages were 1–5 years for males and 1–6 years for females. The von Bertalanffy growth parameters did not significantly differ between male and female. The model was obtained as FLt = 406 × {1 − exp[−0.372 × (t + 1.68)]}.