Journal Article

Age determination, validation and growth of Grand Bank yellowtail flounder (<i>Limanda ferruginea</i>)

Karen S Dwyer, Stephen J Walsh and Steven E Campana

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 60, issue 5, pages 1123-1138
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Age determination, validation and growth of Grand Bank yellowtail flounder (Limanda ferruginea)

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Yellowtail flounder (Limanda ferruginea) (Storer, 1839) on the Grand Bank off Newfoundland were traditionally aged using surface-read whole otoliths. Age determination of otoliths from recaptures of fish tagged in the early 1990s indicated that the traditional ageing technique was underestimating the ages of yellowtail flounder when compared with the time at liberty. Age comparisons between whole and thin-sectioned otoliths showed agreement in age readings up to 7 years; thereafter whole otoliths tended to give much lower ages than those estimated by thin sections. Length–frequency analysis of pelagic and demersal juveniles, captive rearing of juveniles and marginal increment analysis all corroborated age determination based on thin sections. Tag-recaptures and bomb radiocarbon assays validated age interpretations based on thin sections in young and old yellowtail flounder, respectively. Ages were validated up to 25 years for females and 21 years for males. However, because of increased narrowing of annuli in thin-sectioned otoliths from old fish, even thin sections may underestimate the true age of the fish. von Bertalanffy growth curve parameters (combined sexes) were L = 55.6 cm total length, K=0.16 and t0=−0.003. These results challenge the conventional view that yellowtail flounder on the Grand Banks are a relatively fast growing, short-lived species.

Keywords: age determination; Grand Bank; growth; validation methods; yellowtail flounder

Journal Article.  8855 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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