Age and growth of Sarpa salpa (Pisces: Sparidae) off the east coast of South Africa
van der Walt, B.A. and Beckley, L.E. (1997) Age and growth of Sarpa salpa (Pisces: Sparidae) off the east coast of South Africa. Fisheries Research, 31 (3). pp. 241-248.
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Ages were estimated for the small sparid Sarpa salpa obtained off the east coast of South Africa, from whole otoliths read under reflected light. Growth zones were composed of opaque and translucent zones and one opaque band was laid down per year. This was validated by marginal increment analysis and by an oxytetracycline labelling experiment using captive fish. The reproducibility of otolith readings was described by an index of average percentage error, which was equal to 3.9%. Von Bertalanffy growth parameters, which adequately described the growth of S. salpa, were determined. These parameters indicated a rapid growth rate for this species with a maximum age of six years being attained. Growth curves for separate sexes could not be determined because of the lack of sex-specific data in the younger age classes.
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