Histology of Tritia mutabilis gonads: using reproductive biology to support sustainable fishery management

Type Article
Date 2021-03
Language English
Author(s) Mallet Alicia1, Jouvenel Jean-Yves1, Broyon Morgane2, 3, Pirot Nelly2, 3, Geffroy Benjamin4
Affiliation(s) 1 : P2A developpement, 87 Avenue Ferdinand de Lesseps, Impasse Algrin, 34110 Frontignan, France
2 : BCM, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INSERM, Montpellier, France
3 : IRCM, Univ. Montpellier, ICM, INSERM, Montpellier, France
4 : MARBEC, Univ Montpellier, Ifremer, IRD, CNRS, Palavas Les Flots, France
Source Aquatic Living Resources (0990-7440) (EDP Sciences), 2021-03 , Vol. 34 , P. 6 (9p.)
DOI 10.1051/alr/2021006
Keyword(s) Tritia mutabilis, gonad histology, gonochoric species, size at first maturity, fisheries management
Abstract

The mutable nassa, Tritia mutabilis, a marine gastropod that is widely exploited on the Adriatic coast is an important source of income for small-scale fishermen in the Mediterranean Sea, particularly in the Gulf of Lion. However, the lack of knowledge on the ecology and biology of this species limits our capacities to propose and produce an effective management plan. As a result, stocks are currently declining, especially in Italy. In order to optimize a management plan for this fishery, we designed a study to better characterize the reproductive biology of T. mutabilis, using gonad histology and performing a regular monitoring of population size frequency. The average shell height of individuals during the breeding period was 24 ± 2.7mm for males and 30 ± 3.7mm for females. The presence of small females (10 mm) and large males (32 mm) in the whole sample challenged previous assumptions regarding protandry (sex change from male to female). The size at first maturity was estimated for males and females at 17.5mmand 24.4mmshell height, respectively. In Italy, current management measures include a minimum conservation reference size of 20mmin shell height. Therefore, it is likely that many individuals that did not reproduce are being caught, which could partly explain the decline observed, despite conservation measures introduced more than ten years ago. Overall, our study provides some baseline information to establish, in consultation with fishermen, management measures for this small-scale fishery in France

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