D. J. Salerno, J. Burnett and R. M. Ibara
Northeast Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA
166 Water Street, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
Source - Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science, Volume 29:31-39
Bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, are distributed worldwide and found regionally along the eastern United States in the Gulf of Mexico and from Florida to Maine. The species supports a major recreational fishery and to a lesser extent a seasonal commercial fishery in NAFO Divisions 5 and 6. The ages of 3 334 bluefish were determined using scales from bluefish collected off the U.S. northeast coast during Northeast Fisheries Science Center autumn bottom trawl surveys in 1985-96, a period within which bluefish abundance decreased substantially. This study used length and age data to estimate growth rates by sex and by year. Maturation patterns were examined for the period 1993-96. The autumn geographical distribution of age-classes 0, 1, 2 and 3+ fish was also analyzed.
The oldest bluefish in the study was twelve years old and the largest was 88 cm (fork length). No significant differences were found in growth between sexes or on an inter-annual basis; von Bertalanffy growth parameters for both sexes and all years combined were Linf = 87.2 cm, k = 0.26 and t0 = -0.93. Incremental growth rates in length showed a significant decrease after the age of two. The median length at maturity was 33.9 cm for males and 33.4 cm for females. The median age at maturity was 1.2 and 1.1 years for males and females, respectively. Younger fish were almost always found inshore and older age-classes tended to be found mostly offshore.
Language - English
Publisher - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Oragnization (NAFO), Dartmouth, N.S., Canada
Publication Date - 2001
Publication Type - Journal Article