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Life history of Bathyraja trachura from the eastern Bering Sea, with evidence of latitudinal variation in a deep-sea skate species

  • Megan V. Winton (a1), Lisa J. Natanson (a2), Jeff Kneebone (a3), Gregor M. Cailliet (a1) and David A. Ebert (a1)...
Abstract

Although many skates possess life history characteristics that may make them vulnerable to exploitation, the detailed biological information needed to enact effective management schemes is lacking for most species. The objectives of this study were to provide age, growth, and maturity estimates for the roughtail skate, Bathyraja trachura, from the eastern Bering Sea. Maximum age was estimated at 36 yr based on band pair counts in vertebral centra. Of the four growth models applied, the logistic model provided the best description of growth (asymptotic total length = 911 mm; growth coefficient = 0.131 yr−1). There was no evidence of difference in growth between males and females. Females attained maturity at larger sizes and older ages than males. The median size-at-maturity was estimated at 741 mm total length (TL) for males and 796 mm TL for females; median age-at-maturity was estimated at 21.1 yr and 24.7 yr for males and females, respectively. The results of this study may indicate a latitudinal pattern in size and growth, with individuals from the eastern Bering Sea growing more slowly and reaching higher maximum ages than previously reported for specimens collected off the western coast of the continental United States.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: M.V. Winton, Integrated Statistics, 16 Summer Street, Woods Hole, MA, 02543, USA email: megan.winton@gmail.com
References
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