In order to provide biological evidence of the real impact of mosquito seine nets in southwestern Madagascar, an efficient procedure for determining the size at maturity of small‐sized tropical fishes was developed. The fishes caught by two small‐scale fishermen were studied between October 2017 and April 2018. One catch per day was analyzed three days per month during the full‐moon period. In the laboratory, fishes were all sorted by morphospecies, photographed and measured. One individual per morphospecies was selected for being identified using CO1 DNA barcoding. A total of 34,051 individual fishes belonging to 144 DNA bacoded species from 48 families was obtained from 42 samples, 467 individuals from 22 morphospecies that had not been successfully barcoded were excluded from the analyses. The macroscopic observations of 8,143 individuals between 0.7 and 10 cm SL indicated the proportion of individuals with clearly observable gonads was 15% only.Among the 144 species identified via DNA barcoding, 83 consisted of individuals that were all without clearly observable gonads, seven of individuals that were all with clearly observable gonads and 54 included of individuals with and without clearly observable gonads. As the determination of L50 using logistic general linear models failed for most species, the minimum size at maturity was retained to determine the proportion of juveniles and adults for these 54 species. Compared to the data available in FishBase, the minimum size at maturity appears more adequate to discrimine juvenile from adult fish of small‐sized tropical species.
Lovasoa Rina Raharinaivo, Henitsoa Jaonalison, Jamal Mahafina, Dominique Ponton. How to efficiently determine the size at maturity of small‐sized tropical fishes: A case study based on 144 species identified via DNA barcoding from southwestern Madagascar. Journal of applied Ichtyology. https://doi.org/10.1111/jai.14046
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