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PeerJ. 2017 Nov 29;5:e4079. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4079. eCollection 2017.

Age-based and reproductive biology of the Pacific Longnose Parrotfish Hipposcarus longiceps from Guam.

Author information

1
Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, United States of America.
2
Guam Field Office, NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Barrigada, Guam, United States of America.

Abstract

The Pacific longnose parrotfish Hipposcarus longiceps (Valenciennes 1840) represents a prime fishery resource throughout much of the tropical Pacific. In this study, we sampled the species from the Guam commercial fishery market across five consecutive years to characterize reproductive and age-based demographic information imperative for informed fishery management. Compared with other parrotfishes, this species was found to be large-bodied, but has only a moderate life span of 10 + years. Hipposcarus longiceps was confirmed as a diandric protogynous hermaphrodite with highly sex-specific growth patterns and an overall mean asymptotic length of 434 mm fork length (FL). Females were estimated to reach median maturity at 329 mm FL (2.4 years) and have a median length at female-to-male sex change of 401 mm FL. Life-history trait values derived here were used to update previous models relating life history and vulnerability to overexploitation. We found that enhancement of just one species' trait values improved model fits considerably, which strengthens the conclusion that life-history traits are a strong determinant of species' vulnerability in the parrotfishes. This information is an imperative complement to other data sources facilitating formal stock assessment of a key fishery target.

KEYWORDS:

Fishery; Life history; Micronesia; Otolith; Parrotfish; Reproduction; Vulnerability

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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