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Age, growth, and mortality of bonefish, Albula vulpes, from the waters of the Florida Keys
Crabtree, R.E.; Harnden, C.W.; Snodgrass, D.; Stevens, C.L. (1996). Age, growth, and mortality of bonefish, Albula vulpes, from the waters of the Florida Keys. Fish. Bull. 94(3): 442-451
In: Fishery Bulletin. US Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C.. ISSN 0090-0656, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Age; Biological age; Females; Game fish; Growth; Growth curves; Males; Mortality; Population dynamics; Albula vulpes (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; ASW, USA, Florida, Florida Keys [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Crabtree, R.E.
  • Harnden, C.W.
  • Snodgrass, D.
  • Stevens, C.L.

Abstract
    We examined 528 bone-fish ranging from 21 to 702 mm FL collected in South Florida waters from 1989 to 1995. Ages of 451 bonefish ranging from 228 to 702 mm FL were estimated from thin-sectioned otoliths (sagittae). Examination of OTC-marked otoliths from five fish held in a pond in the Florida Keys for periods ranging from 14 to 29 months suggested that a single annulus was formed each year. Marginal-increment analysis also showed that a single annulus was formed each year during March-June. Bonefish reach a maximum age of at least 19 years. Growth of the bonefish in our study was rapid until an age of about six years and then slowed considerably. The von Bertalanffy growth equation for females was FL=680.9(1-e (-0.279(Age+0.934))) and for males was FL=670.7(1-e (-0.242(Age+1.318))). The overall growth models for males and females were significantly different, but estimates of individual growth parameters L infinite, K, and t0 were not. Predicted lengths of females were greater than those of males for all ages greater than 1 year. Catch-curve estimates of instantaneous rates of total mortality (Z) were 0.21 (95% confidence interval 0.167-0.303) for females and 0.25 (95% confidence interval 0.098-0.406) for males. Empirically derived estimates of natural mortality were similar to total mortality estimates, suggesting that fishing mortality is low.

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