The western blue groper (Achoerodus gouldii), a protogynous hermaphroditic labrid with exceptional longevity, late maturity, slow growth, and both late maturation and sex change
Coulson, P.G., Hesp, S.A., Hall, N.G. and Potter, I.C. (2009) The western blue groper (Achoerodus gouldii), a protogynous hermaphroditic labrid with exceptional longevity, late maturity, slow growth, and both late maturation and sex change. Fishery Bulletin, 107 (1). pp. 57-75.
The western blue groper (Achoerodus gouldii) is shown to be a temperate protogynous hermaphrodite, which spawns between early winter and mid-spring. Because A. gouldii changes body color at about the time of sex change, its color can be used as a proxy for sex for estimating the size and age at sex change and for estimating growth when it is not possible to use gonads for determining the sex of this fish. The following characteristics make A. gouldii highly susceptible to overfishing: 1) exceptional longevity, with a maxi-mum age (70 years) that is by far the greatest yet estimated for a labrid; 2) slow growth for the first 15 years and little subsequent growth by females; and 3) late maturation at a large total length (TL50=653 mm) and old age (~17 years) and 4) late sex change at an even greater total length (TL50=821 mm) and age (~35 years). The TL50 at maturity and particularly at sex change exceeded the minimum legal total length (500 mm) of A. gouldii and the lengths of many recreationally and commercially caught fish. Many of these characteristics are found in certain deep-water fishes that are likewise considered susceptible to overfishing. Indeed, although fishing effort for A. gouldii in Western Australia is not particularly high, per-recruit analyses indicate that this species is already close to or fully exploited.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Publisher:||US National Marine Fisheries Services|
|Copyright:||Item is in the public domain|
|Notes:||Source: Fish. Bull. 97:105|
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