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Latin american journal of aquatic research

On-line version ISSN 0718-560X

Abstract

PEZZUTO, Paulo Ricardo  and  COACHMAN DIAS, Martín. Reproductive cycle and population structure of the deep-water shrimp Aristeus antillensis A. Milne Edwards & Bouvier, 1909 (Decapoda: Aristeidae) on southeast Brazilian continental slope. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res. [online]. 2009, vol.37, n.3, pp.443-454. ISSN 0718-560X.

The "alistado shrimp" (Aristeus antillensis) is one of the targets of the trawling fleet operating since 2002 along the continental slope of the Brazilian Economic Exclusive Zone between 700 and 800 m depth. Catches of the species occur mainly in two small fishing grounds located on the east coast of Espirito Santo State (19-22°S). This paper aimed to obtain the first biological data for this species along the Brazilian coast. A total of 13,797 individuals were sampled aboard fishing vessels by observers on almost all fishing hauls, corresponding to 10 to 20% of the total catch recorded in the period. Males and females are sexually mature at 25.4 and 40.2 mm carapace length, respectively, based on an analysis of the proportions of individuals with fused petasma (males) and spermatophores in the thelycum (females). The proportion of impregnated females was higher than 80% year round, suggesting a continuous reproductive cycle, although preliminary in-formation on gonadal development points to possible seasonal reproduction. In general, mature females, which attain larger sizes than males, domínate the catches (M:F = 0.12:1). However, populational groups including males and juveniles of both sexes occupy the fishing grounds in different periods of the year, probably reflecting migratory movements whose directions and driving forces are not completely understood yet. A depth-stratified population structure by sex and size is hypothesized.

Keywords : deep-water resource; sexual maturity; reproductive cycle; population structure; Aristeidae; Brazil.

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