Age and growth of Vermillion snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens) in the northern Gulf of Mexico.




Barber, R.C.

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Texas A&M University.


Age and growth of vermillion snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens) from five areas of the northern Gulf of Mexico (St. Petersburg, Florida; Pensacola, Florida; Galveston, Texas; Port Aransas, Texas; and Brownsville, Texas) were examined. Otoliths and scales were compared as ageing structures. Otolith- and scale-derived growth functions for each area were constructed and compared. A Beverton-Holt yield-per-recruit model and length-weight regression were also developed for each area. Historic scale data from the Florida panhandle were examined for differential growth between males and females. Results of the study determined otoliths to be more reliable than scales as ageing structures. Otolith-and scale-derived growth functions were significantly different (p less than 0.001) in all sampling areas. Eastern Gulf populations of vermillion snapper exhibited juvenescence, probably associated with heavy fishing pressure. Optimum and current yield-per-recruit are discussed. Further research of the validity of vermillion snapper annuli, fishing pressure and its effect on populations of vermillion snapper (particularly in the eastern Gulf), and the effects of epth of capture upon vermillion snapper growth curves is recommended.


87 p., Thesis


biological age, growth, vermillion snapper, Rhomboplites aurorubens, distribution