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

Maturity and growth characteristics of a commercially exploited stingray, Dasyatis dipterura

Wade D. Smith A C, Gregor M. Cailliet A, Everardo Mariano Melendez B

A Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Pacific Shark Research Center, 8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA.
B Universidad Autonóma de Baja California Sur, La Paz, BCS 23080, Mexico.
C Corresponding author. Email: wsmith@mlml.calstate.edu
 
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Abstract

Maturity and growth characteristics were estimated for Dasyatis dipterura from western Mexico, where it is a common component of artisanal elasmobranch fisheries. Median disc width at maturity was estimated as 57.3 cm for females (n = 126) and 46.5 cm for males (n = 55) respectively. Age estimates were obtained from 304 fishery-derived specimens (169 female, 135 male). An annual pattern of band-pair deposition was validated through modified centrum edge and marginal increment analyses. Gompertz, polynomial and von Bertalanffy growth models were fit to disc width and weight-at-age data. Resulting models were evaluated based on biological rationale, standard error of model estimates, and Akaike’s information criteria. Growth characteristics differed significantly between females and males. Maximum age estimates were 28 years for females and 19 years for males. Three-parameter von Bertalanffy growth models of disc width-at-age data generated the most appropriate fits and produced relatively low estimates of instantaneous growth rates for females (DW = 92.4 cm, k = 0.05, t0 = –7.61, DW0 = 31.4 cm) and males (DW = 62.2 cm, k = 0.10, t0 = –6.80, DW0 = 31.3 cm). These values are the lowest reported for myliobatiform stingrays and indicate slow growth rates in comparison with elasmobranchs in general.

Keywords: Dasyatidae, fisheries management, growth models, marginal increment analysis, Mexico, model selection, Myliobatiformes.


   
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