Seasonal variability of maturation status, body condition and population structure in European hake Merluccius merluccius (Linnaeus, 1758) from Safi fishing area on the Moroccan Atlantic coast
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Spawning pattern of the European hake from Moroccan Atlantic coast
Reproductive strategy in European hake, Merluccius merluccius (Linnaeus, 1758) from the Safi fishing area was investigated between January 2019 to December 2019. The sex ratio (♀/♂) was in favor of males (1:1.74). Of a total of 1152 specimens sampled, 589 were males (51%), 333 females (29%), and 230 immature (20%). The immature ones were represented in the small size classes, between 14 and 23.9 cm (TL). The present study showed that European hake breeds throughout the year with two spawning peaks during May-July and October. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) increases from May and has a peak in October for females and August for males, while the hepatosomatic index (HSI) reached the highest values in November for females and in May for males. The morphometric relative body condition showed a single peak in January for females and October for males. The size at first sexual maturity in male and female was 26.50 cm and 27.40 cm, respectively.
Keywords: Bentho-pelagic species, Lm50, Reproductive parameters, Sex-ratio, Somatic indices