Reproductive Biology of Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga) in the Western Indian Ocean

The reproductive biology of albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, in the western Indian Ocean was examined through analysis of the sex ratio, spawning season, length-at-maturity (L50), spawning frequency and fecundity. From 2013 to 2015, a total of 923 female and 867 male albacore were sampled. A bias in sex ratio was found in favor of females with fork length (LF) < 100 cm. Using histological analyses and gonadosomatic index, spawning was found to occur between 10°S and 30°S, mainly to the east of Madagascar from October to January. Large females contributed more to reproduction through their longer spawning period compared to small individuals. The L50 (mean ± standard error) of female albacore was estimated at 85.3 ± 0.7 cm LF. Albacore spawn on average every 2.2 days within the spawning region and spawning months, from November to January. Batch fecundity ranged between 0.26 and 2.09 million oocytes and the relative batch fecundity (mean ± standard deviation) was estimated at 53.4 ± 23.2 oocytes g-1 of somatic-gutted weight. The study provides new information on the reproductive development and classification of albacore in the western Indian Ocean. The reproductive parameters will reduce uncertainty in current stock assessment models which will eventually assist the fishery to be sustainable for future generations.

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S1 Table. Number of fish per oocyte developmental stage or ovarian phase by 3-cm interval fork length (LF) used for maturity analysis of female albacore tuna in the western Indian Ocean....
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Dhurmeea Zahirah, Zudaire Iker, Chassot Emmanuel, Cedras Maria, Nikolic Natacha, Bourjea Jerome, West Wendy, Appadoo Chandani, Bodin Nathalie (2016). Reproductive Biology of Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga) in the Western Indian Ocean. Plos One. 11 (12). e0168605 (1-22).,

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