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Reproductive schedules in southern bluefin tuna: are current assumptions appropriate?


Evans, K and Patterson, TA and Reid, H and Harley, SJ, Reproductive schedules in southern bluefin tuna: are current assumptions appropriate?, PLoS One, 7, (4) Article e34550. ISSN 1932-6203 (2012) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Evans et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034550


Southern bluefin tuna (SBT) appear to comprise a single stock that is assumed to be both mixed across its distribution and having reproductive adults that are obligate, annual spawners. The putative annual migration cycle of mature SBT consists of dispersed foraging at temperate latitudes with migration to a single spawning ground in the tropical eastern Indian Ocean. Spawning migrations have been assumed to target two peaks in spawning activity; one in September-October and a second in February-March. SBT of sizes comparable to that of individuals observed on the spawning ground were satellite tagged in the Tasman Sea region (20032008) and demonstrated both migrations to the spawning grounds and residency in the Tasman Sea region throughout the whole year. All individuals undertaking apparent spawning migrations timed their movements to coincide with the second recognised spawning peak or even later. These observations suggest that SBT may demonstrate substantial flexibility in the scheduling of reproductive events and may even not spawn annually as currently assumed. Further, the population on the spawning grounds may be temporally structured in association with foraging regions. These findings provide new perspectives on bluefin population and spatial dynamics and warrant further investigation and consideration of reproductive schedules in this species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:reproduction, southern bluefin tuna
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught tuna
UTAS Author:Evans, K (Dr Karen Evans)
UTAS Author:Patterson, TA (Dr Toby Patterson)
ID Code:119646
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2017-08-03
Last Modified:2017-09-27
Downloads:124 View Download Statistics

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