Reproductive biology of horse mackerel Trachurus capensis and Trachurus trecae in Namibia and Angola
AbstractHarvest control measures for Namibia and Angola are defined using reference points for spawning biomass, which requires knowledge of spawning potential and dynamics of fishery stocks. The reproductive biology of two species of horse mackerel, Trachurus capensis and Trachurus trecae, in these waters was investigated for spawning distribution in time and space. Samples were collected during two scientific cruises conducted in February and July/August 2007 off the coast of Namibia and Angola. A total of 396 fish ovaries was examined to determine the spawning dynamics of the two species. The ovaries were histologically analysed and their oocyte distributions mapped. The length (TL)–weight relationships of the two species differed significantly. The observed development of oocyte recruitment and absence of a hiatus in the oocyte distribution indicated that these species are indeterminate spawners. Analyses of the data from the NatMIRC database (2001–2004) indicated annual changes in gonadosomatic index (GSI) for T. capensis at different latitudes, but these changes were small. GSI also fluctuated between years and areas, but there were no clear spatial or temporal trends, with averages ≤4.0% at all stations. The GSI of both species was not indicative of the histologically determined development of gonad maturity. Oocyte maturation for T. capensis indicated that smaller and younger fish spawn first. Batch fecundity (F) for T. trecae was best described by F = 4 986 TL (cm) – 99 645 (r2 = 0.83). This study provided the first analyses of oocyte development in time and space for the two species in the region.
Keywords: batch fecundity, gonadosomatic index, indeterminate spawner, oocyte diameter, spawning area, spawning time
African Journal of Marine Science 2013, 35(2): 141–150