On the biology of Terapon puta (Cuvier, 1829) in the bitter lakes, Egypt
The present work was carried out to study the age, growth, length-weigh relationships, spawning season, length at first sexual maturity and mortality of the commercial small scaled fish Terapon puta in the bitter lakes, Egypt. Fish samples which were collected during the period from January to December 2014 were selected to represent all fish size categories in the catch. Each fish specimen was measured, weighted and then dissected to detect the maturity stage of the gonads. The length-weight relationships were estimated for males and females as: W = 0.021606 x L2.90, W = 0.020092 x L2.92 respectively. The age data derived from the scale readings were used to estimate the growth parameters of the von Bertalanffy growth equation. The estimated parameters were: L∞ = 20.4 cm, K = 0.26128 and to= -1.325577 for males and L∞= 20.7 cm, K = 0.26189 and to= -1.316511 for females. It was found that, the small scaled fish matured at a total length of about 11.5 cm. The natural spawning period of this fish species is in the summer, from May to July. The annual rates of total, natural and fishing mortality were calculated as 0.8840, 0.2214 and 0.6626 yr–1 respectively. Current exploitation rate 'E' was estimated at 0.75.