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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 58(1)

Comparison of deterministic growth models fitted to length-at-age data of the piked spurdog (Squalus megalops) in south-eastern Australia

J. Matías Braccini A B C, Bronwyn M. Gillanders A, Terence I. Walker B, Javier Tovar-Avila B

A Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories, Darling Building DP 418, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
B Primary Industries Research Victoria, PO Box 114, Queenscliff, VIC 3225, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: matias.braccini@dpi.vic.gov.au
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Age and growth estimates of Squalus megalops were derived from the first dorsal fin spine of 452 sharks, ranging from 274 to 622 mm total length. Age bias plots and indices of precision indicated that the ageing method was precise and unbiased. Edge analysis of the enameled surface of whole spines and similarities in the banding pattern deposited in the enameled surface of spines and in spine sections supported the hypothesis of annual band formation. Multiple versions of two growth models were fitted to length-at-age data, from which a two-phase von Bertalanffy model produced the best fit. For males, the change in growth rate corresponded with size-at-maturity, whereas for females, the change was slightly before size-at-maturity. Regardless of the growth model used, growth rate of females (0.034 to 0.098 years–1) was very low, making S. megalops highly susceptible to overexploitation by fisheries.

Keywords: age, AIC, Gompertz, Squalidae, von Bertalanffy.

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