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

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.

Full Text | PDF (332 KB)


ALEXANDER, C. M., MYHR, A. I. & WILSON, J. L. 1985. Harvest potential of paddlefish stocks in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee. Proceed. Annual Conference Southeastern association Fish Wildly Agencies 39: 45-55.

BABUSHKIN, N. Y. A. & BORZENKO, M. P. 1951. Sturgeon of the Caspian. Pishchepromizdat, Moscow, 5-67pp (in Russian).

BAROT, S., HEINO, M., O’BRIEN, L. & DIECKMANN, U. 2004. Long-term trends in the maturation reaction norm of two cod stocks. Ecological Application 14: 1257-71.

BAROT, S., HEINO, M., MORGAN, M. J. & DIECKMANN, U. 2005. Maturation of Newfoundland American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides): long-term trends in maturation reaction norms despite low fishing mortality? ICES. Journal of Marin Science 62: 56-64.

BEAMISH, R. J. & FOURNIER, D. A. 1981. A method for comparing the precision of a set of age determinations. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 38: 982-983.

BERG, L. S. 1948. Freshwater fishes of the USSR and adjacent countries. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem (1962-1965), 1: 504 pp (In Russian).

BILLARD, R. & LECOINTRE, G. 2001. Biology and conservation of sturgeon and paddlefish. Fish Biology and Fishery 10: 355-392.

BRENNAN, J. S. & CAILLIET, G. M. 1989. Comparative agedetermination techniques for white sturgeon in Cali fornia. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 118: 296-310.

BRENNAN, J. S. & CAILLIET, G. M. 1991. Age-determination and validation studies of white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, in California. In: Acipenser. (Ed. P. Williott.): 209-234. Bordeaux, France.

BIRSTEIN, V., BEMIS, W. & WALDMAN, J. 1997. The threatened status of Acipenseriform species: a summary. Environmental Biology of Fishes 48: 427-435.

CAILLIET, G. M. & GOLDMAN, K. J. 2004. Age determination and validation in chondrichthyan fishes. In: Biology of sharks and their relatives. (Eds. J Carrier., J. A. Musick., & M. R. Heithaus): 399-447. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.

CHANG, W. Y. B. 1982. A statistical method for evaluating the reproducibility of age determination. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 39: 1208-1210.

CHEN, Y. D., JACKSON, D. A. & HARVEY, H. H. 1992. A comparison of von Bertalanffy and polynomial functions in modelling fish growth data. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 49: 1228-1235.

CHUGUNOVA, N. I. 1959. Age and growth studies in fish. Translated by Yasski D. 1963. National Science foundation, Washington DC, 131 pp.

DUNLOP, E. S., SHUTER B. J. & RIDGWAY, M. S. 2005. Isolating the influence of growth rate on maturation patterns in the small mouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62: 844-53.

FAVRO, L. D., KUO, P. K. & MCDONALD, J. F. 1979. Population- genetic study of the effects of selective fishing on the growth rate of trout. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 36: 552-61.

GULLAND, J. A. 1983. Fish stock assessment: a manual of basic methods. FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) Wiley, New York, 223 pp.

HALAJIAN, A., KAZEMI, R., BAHMANI, M., DAJANDIAN, S., YOSEFI, A. & PORDEHGHAN, M. 2006. Examination of liver branches and gonad tissues of sturgeon which catched south of Caspian Sea in 2003-2004. International Sturgeon Institute, Iran, 39 pp (In Persian).

HOLÍK, J., BANARESCUE, P. & EVANS, D. 1989. Systematic part. In: The freshwater fishes of Europe. (Ed. J. Hol ík.): 395-443. AULA-Verlag, Wiesbaden.

IVANOV, V. P. 2000. Biological Resources of the Caspian Sea. CaspNIRKH, Astrakhan, 96 pp.

JEARLD, A. 1992. Age determination. In: Fisheries Techniques. (Eds. L. A. Nielson., & D. L.Johnson): 301-324. The American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

KING, M. 1995. Fisheries Biology, Assessment and Management. Fishing News Books, Oxford, 341 pp.

KOCH, J. D., SCHRECK, W. J. & QUIST, M. C. 2008. Standardised removal and sectioning locations for shovelnose sturgeon fin rays. Fisheries Management and Ecology 15: 139-145.

LAW, R., & ROWELL, C. A. 1993. Cohort-structured populations, selection responses, & exploitation of the North Sea cod. In: The Exploitation of Evolving Resources. (Eds. T. K. Stokes., J. M. McGlade. & R. Law): 73-155. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

MAKAROV, E. V. 1970. Otsenka dinamiki I struktur stada azovskikh osetrov kh. Trud VNIROU 7 1: 96-155.

MAKAROVA, I. A. & ALEKPEROV, A. P. 1988. Age composition of sturgeons (Acipenseridae) occurring along the western shores of the south Caspian. Vopr Ichthyology 6: 993-997.

MYERS, R. & WORM, B. 2003. Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities. Nature 423: 280-283.

MOGHIM, M. 2003. Annual report on stock assessment of sturgeon fishes. Ecological Research Center of Mazandaran Province, Iran, 107 pp (In Persian).

MORISON, A. K., ROBERTSON S. G. & SMITH, D. G. 1998. An integrated system for production fish aging: image analysis and quality assurance. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 18: 587-59.

MUSICK, J. A. 1999. Criteria to define extinction risk in marine fishes. Fisheries 24: 6-14.

OLSEN, E. M., LILLY, G. R., HEINO, M., MORGAN, M. J., BRATTEY, J. & DIECKMANN, U. 2005. Assessing changes in age & size at maturation in collapsing populations of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62: 811-23.

PAULY, D., ALDER, A., BENNETT, E., CHRISTENSEN, V., TYEDMERS, P. & WATSON, R. 2003. The future of fisheries. Science 302: 1359-1361.

PIKITCH, E. K., DOUKAKIS, P., LAUCK, L., CHAKRABATY, P., & ERICKSON, D. L. 2005. Status, trends and management of sturgeon and paddlefish fisheries. Fish and fisheries 6: 233-265.

PIROGOVSKII, M. I. & FADEEVA, T. A. 1982. The size – age composition of the Stellate Sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus, during the marine period of life. Vopr Ichthyology 5: 54-63.

POURKASEMI, M. 2006. Caspian Sea sturgeon Conservation and Fisheries: Past present and Future. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 22: 12-16.

PUTILIN, L. A. 1981. Qualitative structure of the spawning part of the Persian sturgeon population of the Volga. Rational Principles of Sturgeon Farming, Volgograd, 210pp (in Russian).

RIEN, T. A. & BEAMESDERFER, R. C. 1994. Accuracy and precision of white sturgeon age estimates from pectoral fin rays. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 123: 255- 265.

RICKER, W. E. 1973. Linear regressions in fishery research. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 30: 409-434.

RICKER, W. E. 1975. Computation and Interpretation of Biological Statistics of Fish Population. Bulletin Fisheries Research Board of Canada 191, 382 pp.

RIJNSDORP, A. D. 1989. Maturation of male & female North Sea plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L). Journal du Conseil International pour l’explor mer 46: 35-51.

ROBERTS, C. M. & HAWKINS, J. P. 1999. Extinction risk in the sea. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 14: 241-246.

ROSEN, R. A., HALES, D. C. & UNKENHOLZ, D. G. 1982. Biology & exploitation of paddlefish in the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 111: 216-222.

ROFF, D. A. 1984. The evolution of life history parameters in teleosts. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 41: 989-1000.

ROSTAMI, I. 1961. Biologie et exploitation des sturgeons (Acipenserides) Caspians. Narledus (meuse), France, 210 pp, (In French).

RUSSELL, T. R. 1986. Biology and life history of paddlefish – a review. In: ThePaddlefish: Status,Management & Propagation. (Eds. J. G. Dillard., L. K. Graham., & T. R. Russell): 2-20. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

SABOROWSKI, R. & BUCHHOLZ, F. 1996. Annual changes in the nutritive state of North Sea. Journal of Fish Biology 49: 173-194.

SAFINA, C., ROSENBERG, A., MYERS, R., QUINN, T. & COLLIE, J. U. S. 2005. Ocean fish recovery: staying the course. Science 309: 707-708.

SAINSBURY, K. J. 1980. Effect of individual variability on the von Bertalanffy growth equation. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 37: 241-247.

SCARNECCHIA, D. L., STEWART, P. A. & POWER, G. J. 1996. Age structure of the Yellowstone-Sakakawea paddlefish stock, 1963-1993, in relation to reservoir history. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 125: 291-299.

SCARNECCHIA, D. L., RYCKMAN, L. F., LIM, Y., SCHMITZ, B. J. & FIREHAMMER, J. A. 2007. Life history and the costs of reproduction in northern Great Plains Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) as a potential framework for other acipenseriform fishes. Journal of Fisheries Science 15: 211-263.

SHABANY, A., POURKAZEMI, M., REZVANI, GHILKOLAHI, S., KAMALI, A. & VITESKAIA, L. 2003. Study of mtDNA variation of stellate sturgeon population from Northern Caspian Sea (Volga River) and Southern Caspian Sea (Gorganroud river) using RFLP analysis of PCR amplified ND5/6 gene regions. Iranian Journal of Marin Science and Technology 2: 59-69.

STAMPS, J. A. 1993. Sexual size dimorphism in species with asymptotic growth after maturity. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 50: 123-145.

STEVENSON, J. T. & SECOR, D. H. 2000. Age determination and growth of Hudson River Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) Fisheries Bulletin 98: 153-166.

TAGHAVI MOTLAGH, A. 1996. Population dynamics of Sturgeon in the southern part of the Caspian Sea. Dissertation, University of Wales, Swansea, 300pp.

VESHCHEV, P. A. 1979. Composition of the spawning population of the sturgeon, Acipenser guldesnstadti and Acipenser stellatus, in the spawning grounds of Akhtuba River. Vopr Ichthyology 19: 362-365.

VESHCHEV, P. V. & NOVIKOVA, A. S. 1986. Biological characteristics of sevryuga, Acipenser stellatus, on the spawning grounds of the lower Volga. Vopr Ichthyology 5: 771-778.

ZAR, J. H. 1996. Biostatistical analysis. Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 123 pp.

Previous post

Natural history, life history, and diet of Priapella chamulae Schartl, Meyer & Wilde 2006 (Teleostei: Poeciliidae)

Next post

Scleropages inscriptus, a new fish species from the Tananthayi or Tenasserim River basin, Malay Peninsula of Myanmar (Osteoglossidae: Osteoglossiformes)

The Author



No Comment

Leave a reply