Size Structure of Areolate Grouper (Epinephelus areolatus) from the Saudi Coast of the Arabian Gulf
Keywords:Arabian Gulf, areolate grouper, length-weight relationship
Areolate grouper, Epinephelus areolatus, is one of the reef-associated fish species which is highly sought-after in the seafood trade. Consequently, a high market demand resulted to overexploitation and population decline of the species in the wild. This paper aimed to determine the size structure of E. areolatus from the Arabian Gulf. A total of 355 specimens of E. areolatus collected over the 12-month sampling period revealed high proportions of females observed throughout the year and in size class. Males (29.3 cm, 358.44 g) were bigger and heavier than females (28.8 cm, 326.66 g). The ‘b’ values ranging from 2.86 to 2.88 indicated negative allometric growth. The relationship between length and weight showed significant positive correlations with p < 0.0000 and r2 values ranging between 96.05-97.12%.
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