Journal Article

Observations on the reproductive cycle of the black scabbardfish (<i>Aphanopus carbo</i> Lowe, 1839) in the NE Atlantic

I Figueiredo, P Bordalo-Machado, S Reis, D Sena-Carvalho, T Blasdale, A Newton and L.S Gordo

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 60, issue 4, pages 774-779
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1054-3139(03)00064-X
Observations on the reproductive cycle of the black scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo Lowe, 1839) in the NE Atlantic

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Black scabbardfish is a deep-water species, common in the NE Atlantic at depths between 450 and 1300 m, currently exploited by some European countries. Between May 1998 and April 2000, specimens collected at three different locations in the NE Atlantic—NW of Scotland, Sesimbra (mainland Portugal) and Funchal (Madeira)—were analysed. The evolution of maturity of both sexes throughout the year was studied based on the macroscopic and microscopic analysis of the gonads. Specimens with the largest total length were found in Funchal, whereas the smallest size was recorded in the NW of Scotland. Neither spawners nor post-spawners were ever observed in NW of Scotland and Sesimbra. In Sesimbra, only a few individuals attained pre-spawning stage and most of the early developing females exhibited atresia in their ovaries. In Funchal, all the maturity stages were found; spawners occurred from September to December (females) and from August to December (males). Length of first maturity for females was estimated to be around 1000 mm. Two groups of spawners with different sizes were observed during the spawning period off Madeira.

Keywords: deep-water; reproduction; North-east Atlantic; Aphanopus

Journal Article.  2536 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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