Papers/Abstracts

Aspects of the life history of Acipenser stellatus (Acipenseriformes, Acipenseridae), the starry sturgeon, in Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea

Shima Bakhshalizadeh, Shahram Abdolmalaki, Ali Ban

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, 103-112, Volume 18, Issue 2 – 15 April 2012

Abstract
The age and growth of the starry sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus, obtained from Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea, were studied through analysis of the pectoral fin ray section from 69 specimens, ranging in fork length (FL) from 83 to 173 cm. The specimens were obtained from commercial fisheries between October 2008 and June 2010. The interpretation of growth bands in the pectoral fin ray sections was carried out objectively using the direct reading of thin sections and by image analysis. The maximum age recorded for the specimens of starry sturgeon was 29 years. The estimates of asymptotic length (L∞) and the growth coefficient (K) of females were 153.69 cm and 0.08 per year respectively. Males had an asymptotic length of 131.02 cm and a growth coefficient of 0.15 per year. The total mortality coefficient (Z) for females and for males was estimated to be 0.79 and 1.08 per year respectively. Annual mortality rates were calculated at 55 percent for females and 66 percent for males. This study revealed differences in the life history parameters of the starry sturgeon compared with previous study results which may be associated with increased fishing pressure and the degradation of environmental conditions.

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