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Reproductive biology of the blue jack mackerel, Trachurus picturatus (Bowdich, 1825), off the Canary Islands


Author's address: Alba Jurado-Ruzafa, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Oceanográfico de Canarias, Vía Espaldón, Dársena Pesquera PCL 8 (38180) Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Islas Canarias, Spain.



The reproductive cycle of the blue jack mackerel, Trachurus picturatus, had not been described for the Canary Islands. Between March 2005 and March 2006 monthly samples of T. picturatus were collected randomly at the central fishery wharf from the commercial catches of purse-seiners in Tenerife Island waters (Canary Islands). Some 2472 specimens were analysed, with total lengths from 10.4 to 31.9 cm. Although females outnumbered males in summer, males were more abundant in the sex ratio (1.36 : 1). Based on the monthly evolution of the gonado-somatic index and the proportion of mature individuals, the spawning season occurred between January and April, peaking in February. Lengths at first maturity (LFM) were calculated from the maturity ogives by the Gompertz model for all specimens (22.79 cm), for males (21.20 cm) and for females (23.05 cm). In this area the minimum legal size for T. picturatus is actually smaller than the length at first maturity and should be revised to avoid depletion of the stock.