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Reproduction sex ratio and rate of natural mortality of cape hakes merluccius capensis and merluccius paradoxus franca in the cape of good hope area south africa



Reproduction sex ratio and rate of natural mortality of cape hakes merluccius capensis and merluccius paradoxus franca in the cape of good hope area south africa



South African Journal of Marine Science (4): 23-36



Reproductive patterns of Cape hake off the Cape of Good Hope are described. Females of both species tend to mature at a greater length and age than their male counterparts, 50-per-cent maturity being achieved at some 470-480 mm and 360-380 mm .apprx. 4.8 and .apprx. 3.8 years) respectively. For both species, females undoubtedly and males probably shed all sexual products at each spawning, but there is evidence from the long spawning season of serial spawning or of spawning of different batches of fish at different imes. It is concluded that Cape hakes in the study area spawn in a double wave, the first wave in November/December sustained by both species and the second one in February/March mainly by Merluccius paradoxu. Females dominate the sex ratios by 1,5:1 and 1,7:1 for M. capensis and M. paradoxus, respectively. In mature, larger fish, the dominance is even greater, particularly so in M. paradoxus, of which species males were scarce. The rate of instantaneous natural mortality M was calculated from age at maturity. M for males was higher (0,42-0,44) than for females (0,33-0,34) and an unweighted mean value of 0,4 was calculated for Cape hake in the study area.

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