Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 October 2016
Salema, Sarpa salpa is a commercial exploited species in the Atlantic Ocean with little available information for the essential population parameters, such as age, growth and reproduction. The present study aims to describe these parameters for S. salpa obtained off the coast of Portugal. Ages were estimated from the whole otolith readings; the minimum and the maximum ages observed were 0 and 14 years, respectively, corresponding to 5.2 and 41.4 cm of total length (TL). Whole otolith readings and back-calculation approaches were used to estimate the parameters of the von Bertalanffy growth function and the Akaike's information criterion value suggested that the second approach was the best one to describe the growth of salema: L ∞ = 45.07 cm, k = 0.14 year−1 and t 0 = −1.43 year. The species is a protandric hermaphrodite and the sex change process occurred between 28.6 and 40.9 cm TL. A short spawning season was identified, extending from September to November. The estimated length at first maturity for males was 24.5 cm TL, corresponding to an age of 2 years at first maturity. This species exhibited a determinate fecundity type and the relative annual fecundity varied between 462 and 2662 oocytes per gram of gutted weight.