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The use of sectioned otoliths to age barramundi (Lates calcarifer) (Bloch 1790) [Centropomidae]
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by IG Stuart, Stephen MckillupStephen Mckillup
The relationship between the number of rings present in sagittal otoliths and the age of barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch, 1790) [Centropomidae], was investigated by examining cross sectioned otoliths of 37 tagged fish of known age between 1 and 5 years from the Johnstone River, north Queensland. Concentric rings were clearly visible in all otolith sections and were validated as annual marks. The technique was then used to estimate the age and calculate von Bertalanffy growth parameters for 70 barramundi from the Fitzroy River, Central Queensland. Growth appeared to be rapid but variable in the first year; the von Bertalanffy growth parameters for length versus age were L∞=690 mm, K =0.53, t0= 0.003 years. October 1 was designated as the birth date. Whole otolith length, width and thickness were also approximated well by the von Bertalanffy equation.We suggest that examination of otoliths is a useful technique for ageing barramundi but note that further validation of the ageing method is still needed for fish older than six years.