Fecundity of Chub Mackerel (Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782) in the Aegean Sea

Fecundidade da cavala (Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782) no Mar Egeu

Ö. Cengiz About the author

Abstract

This study was carried out in April - June 2014 to determine absolute fecundity (F) of the chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782) in Saros Bay (Aegean Sea, Turkey). The relations between the absolute fecundity and total length, total weight and age of the chub mackerel females were estimated as F=0.0318TL4.81, F=1573.9TW- 42858 and F=109607A-136129, respectively. This study aims to contribute to the reproductive biology of S. japonicus by reporting the first findings about the absolute fecundity of the species for the Aegean Sea.

Keywords:
Scomber japonicus; fecundity; Saros Bay; Aegean Sea

Resumo

Este estudo foi realizado em abril-junho de 2014 para determinar a fecundidade absoluta (F) da cavala (Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782) na Baía de Saros (Mar Egeu, Turquia). As relações entre a fecundidade absoluta e comprimento total, peso total e a idade da cavala fêmeas foram estimados como F=0.0318TL4.81, F=1573.9 TW- 42858 e F=109607A-136129, respectivamente. Este estudo visa contribuir para a biologia reprodutiva de S. japonicus, apresentando as primeiras conclusões sobre a fecundidade absoluta das espécies para o Mar Egeu.

Palavras-chave:
Scomber japonicus; fecundidade; Baía de Saros; Mar Egeu

1. Introduction

Fecundity studies are of great importance in total population assessments, productivity and population dynamics studies, and the determination of the specific properties of the populations, subpopulations, and/or fish stocks (De Martini and Sikkel, 2006DE MARTINI, E. and SIKKEL, P., 2006. The ecology of marine fishes: california and adjacent waters. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 482-523.).

The chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782) is a cosmopolitan middle-sized pelagic species inhabiting warm and temperate costal waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans and adjacent seas. It is found in the continental slope from the surface to the depth of 300 m and reaches its deepest levels during the day (Collette and Nauen, 1983COLLETTE, B.B. and NAUEN, C.E., 1983. FAO species catalogue. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO, 137 p. FAO Fisheries Synopsis, no. 125. ). By virtue of its commercial importance worldwide, many studies has been conducted regarding growth and reproduction (Techetach et al., 2010TECHETACH, M., HERNANDO-CASAL, J.A., SAOUD, Y. and BENAJIBA, M.H., 2010. Reproductive biology of chub mackerel Scomber japonicus in Larache area, Moroccan North Atlantic coast. Cybium, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 159-165.; Cikeš Keč and Zorica, 2012CIKEŠ KEČ, V. and ZORICA, B., 2012. The reproductive traits of Scomber japonicus (Houttuyn, 1782) in the Eastern Adriatic Sea. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, vol. 28, no 1, pp. 15-21. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439 0426.2011.01893.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439 0426.2011...
; Cerna and Plaza, 2014CERNA, F. and PLAZA, G., 2014. Life history parameters of chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) from two areas off Chile. Bulletin of Marine Science, vol. 90, no. 3, pp. 833-848. http://dx.doi.org/10.5343/bms.2013.1077.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5343/bms.2013.1077...
), weight-length relationships (Petrakis and Stergiou, 1995PETRAKIS, G. and STERGIOU, K.I., 1995. Weight-length relationships for 33 fish species in Greek waters. Fisheries Research, vol. 21, no. 3-4, pp. 465-469. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0165-7836(94)00294-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0165-7836(94)0...
; Moutopoulos and Stergiou, 2002MOUTOPOULOS, D.K. and STERGIOU, K.I., 2002. Length-weight and length-length relationships of fish species from the Aegean Sea (Greece). Journal of Applied Ichthyology, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 200-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1439-0426.2002.00281.x.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1439-0426.20...
; Karakulak et al., 2006KARAKULAK, F.S., ERK, H. and BILGIN, B., 2006. Length-weight relationships for 47 coastal fish species from the Northern Aegean Sea, Turkey. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 274-278. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0426.2006.00736.x.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0426.20...
), fishery (Cengiz et al., 2013aCENGIZ, O., AYAZ, A., OZEKINCI, U., OZTEKIN, A. and KUMOVA, C. 2013a. Determination of hook selectivity used for catching the Chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782) in Dardanelles and Gallipoli Peninsula (North-eastern Mediterranean, Turkey). Menba Journal of Fisheries Faculty, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 22-27.), feeding habit (Castro, 1993CASTRO, J.J., 1993. Feeding ecology of chub mackerel Scomber japonicus in the Canary Islands area. South African Journal of Marine Science, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 323-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/025776193784287400.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/02577619378428...
) and hermaphroditism (Özekinci et al., 2009OZEKINCI, U., AYAZ, A., ALTINAGAC, U., CENGIZ, O. and OZTEKIN, A., 2009. A hermatophroditic specimen of Chub mackerel Scomber japonicus in the Dardanelles, Turkey. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, vol. 8, no. 9, pp. 1798-1799.), as a summary.

The objectives of the present study were: (1) to contribute to the reproductive biology of S. japonicus by reporting the first findings about the absolute fecundity of the species for the Aegean Sea and (2) to compare these results with those of the previous studies.

2. Material and Methods

Saros Bay, which is situated in the Northeastern Aegean Sea, is connected to the North Aegean with a depth of approximately 600 m to the west. The shelf extends at a water depth of 90-120 m. The length of the bay is about 61 km and the width at the opening to the Aegean Sea is about 36 km (Eronat and Sayin, 2014ERONAT, C. and SAYIN, E., 2014. Temporal evolution of the water characteristics in the bays along the eastern coast of the Aegean Sea: Saros, İzmir, and Gökova bays. Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, vol. 23, pp. 53-66. http://dx.doi.org/10.3906/yer-1307-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3906/yer-1307-4...
). Cengiz (2012)CENGIZ, O., 2012. Age, growth, mortality and reproduction of the chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782) from Saros Bay (Northern Aegean Sea, Turkey). Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, vol. 12, pp. 799-809. http://dx.doi.org/10.4194/1303-2712-v12_4_08.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4194/1303-2712-v12_...
reported that the spawning period of the chub mackerel occurred between April and August with a peak in June in the Saros Bay. Therefore, 35 fully mature females S. japonicus were sampled with handline during the spawning season in 2014 (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Saros Bay and sampling station.

The specimens were measured to the nearest 1 mm (total length, TL), weighed to the nearest 0.01 g (total weight). Following removal, the sagittal otoliths were first soaked in 5% HCL and 3% NaOH solutions, respectively, and washed in distilled water and subsequently dried. The sagittal otoliths, placed in watch glass filled with the water, were read using a stereoscopic zoom microscope under reflected light against a black background. Opaque and transparent zones were counted; one opaque zone plus one transparent zone was assumed to be one year (Cengiz et al., 2013bCENGIZ, O., OZEKINCI, U., ISMEN, A. and OZTEKIN, A., 2013b. Age and growth of the four-spotted megrim (Lepidorhombus boscii Risso, 1810) from Saros Bay (Northern Aegean Sea, Turkey). Mediterranean Marine Science, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 36-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.12681/mms.328.
http://dx.doi.org/10.12681/mms.328...
). Gravimetric method was used for fecundity estimates (Bagenal and Braum, 1978BAGENAL, T.B. and BRAUM, E., 1978. Eggs and early life history. In: T. BAGENAL, ed. Methods for assessment of fish production in freshwaters. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific, 106 p.). In order to calculate fecundity, the ovaries of mature females (prior to the reproductive period) were weighed the nearest 0.0001 g (total weight), three sub-samples were taken from the front, mid- and rear sections of each ovary, weighed and then immersed seperately in Gilson’s fluid. These ovaries were frequently shaken to ensure the separation of oocytes from ovarian tissues. All oocytes were counted directly under stereoscopic zoom microscope. The total number of eggs in each ovary sub-sample was then estimated by using the equation provided by Yeldan and Avşar (2000)YELDAN, H. and AVSAR, D., 2000. A preliminary study on the reproduction of the rabbitfish (Siganus rivulatus Forsskal, 1775) in northeastern Mediterranean. Turkish Journal of Zoology, vol. 24, pp. 173-182.: F1= (Wg × N) × Ws–1,where F1 is the total number of eggs in ovary sub-sample 1, Wg is the gonad weight, N is the number of eggs in the sub-sample, and Ws is sub-sample weight. Later, by taking the mean number of three sub-sample fecundities (F1, F2, and F3), the absolute fecundity (F) for each female fish was estimated as: F= (F1 + F2 + F3)–3. Hereby, the relations between absolute fecundity (F) and total length (TL), absolute fecundity (F) and total weight (TW), as well as absolute fecundity (F) and age (A) were estimated as F= aTLb, F= a + bTW and F= a + bA, respectively, where a and b are the parameters of the equation (Avsar, 2005AVSAR, D., 2005. Fisheries biology and population dynamics. Adana: Nobel Press, 332 p.).

3. Results and Discussion

The absolute fecundity (F) was estimated for 35 ripe females (age 2 to 4) caught in April-June 2014. A maximum value of 350622 eggs was recorded in 4 year-olds fish weighing 260.22 g (29.2 cm TL) and a minimum value of 77989 eggs for 2 year-olds fish weighing 69.36 g (20.7 cm TL). The mean value ± standard error of absolute fecundity was 177035 ± 14645. The relations between the absolute fecundity and total length, total weight and age of the chub mackerel females were estimated as F= 0.0318TL4.81, F= 1573.9TW-42858 and F= 109607A-136129, respectively (Figure 2).

Figure 2
The relations between the absolute fecundity and total length, total weight and age of the chub mackerel females, Scomber japonicus, from Saros Bay.

Table 1 presents the fecundity values of Scomber japonicus in different areas.

Table 1
The fecundity values of Scomber japonicus in different areas.

Within a given species, fecundity may vary as a result of different adaptations to enviromental habitats (Witthames et al., 1995WITTHAMES, P.R., GREER WALKER, M., DINIS, M.T. and WHITING, C.L., 1995. The geographical variation in the potential annual fecundity of Dover sole, Solea solea (L.) from European shelf waters during 1991. Netherlands Journal of Sea Research, vol. 34, no. 1-3, pp. 45-58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0077-7579(95)90013-6.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0077-7579(95)9...
). Even within a stock, fecundity is known to vary annually, undergo long-term changes (Rijnsdorp, 1991RIJNSDORP, A.D., 1991. Changes in fecundity of female North Sea plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.) between three periods since 1990. ICES Journal of Marine Science, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 253-280. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/48.3.253.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/48.3.2...
). However, the fecundity-size relations has been used principally as a rapid means of predicting the fecundity of fish (Dulčić et al., 1998DULČIĆ, J., SKAKELJA, N., KRALJEVIĆ, M. and CETINIĆ, P., 1998. On the fecundity of the Black Sea bream, Spondyliosoma cantharus (L.), from the Adriatic Sea (Croatian coast). Scientia Marina, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 289-294. http://dx.doi.org/10.3989/scimar.1998.62n3289.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3989/scimar.1998.62...
). Consequently, the results of this study will increase the life history data available for S. japonicus by providing the scientific support required so as to identify the current stock state and will help conservation and management of the species.

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the fisherman Engin TUNÇ and Semih KALE for their supports.

  • (With 2 figures)

References

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    » http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0165-7836(94)00294-7
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  • WITTHAMES, P.R., GREER WALKER, M., DINIS, M.T. and WHITING, C.L., 1995. The geographical variation in the potential annual fecundity of Dover sole, Solea solea (L.) from European shelf waters during 1991. Netherlands Journal of Sea Research, vol. 34, no. 1-3, pp. 45-58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0077-7579(95)90013-6
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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    29 May 2020
  • Date of issue
    Mar-May 2021

History

  • Received
    06 Nov 2019
  • Accepted
    02 Dec 2019
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