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Testes development and maturity classification of albacore (Thunnus alalunga ( Bonaterre, 1788)) from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Authors


Author's address: Tulay Akayli, Department of Fish Diseases, Istanbul University, Faculty of Fisheries, Istanbul, Turkey.

E-mail: takayli@yahoo.com

Summary

The criteria of testicular maturity during the spawning season and for maturity rates are described according to age for 140 male albacore (Thunnus alalunga, Bonnaterre, 1788) sampled between April and August, 2002–2008 in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Histology of gonad samples was used to determine maturity status. Spermatogenesis and its relation to reproductive biology are reported. Fish ranged in fork length (FL) from 63 to 90 cm. The reproductive classes were based upon changes in the testicular morphology and stages of the germinative cells, i.e. immature, developing, maturing, spawning, and spent. Mature stages of testes including the smallest sample of a 63 cm male were observed from May to August of each year during the study. The reported evidence indicates that the size and age of first sexual maturity values of males of the Eastern Mediterranean population are nearly the same as in the Western Mediterranean population, but lower than in the Atlantic stock. The results of this histological investigation, conducted for the first time on this species in the Mediterranean Sea, will enable more precise future estimations for sustainability of the male albacore stock in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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