Size trends and population characteristics of striped marlin, Tetrapturus audax, caught in the New Zealand recreational fishery were evaluated using club records from the Bay of Islands Sword-fish Club (BOISC) from 1925 to 2003 (n = 15 114) and biological samples from northern New Zealand collected from 1985 to 1994 (n = 684). Average weight (kg) ± SE of striped marlin declined 6–9 kg every 20 years between 1925 (124.2 ± 1.0 kg) and 2003 (100.1 kg ± 0.4). Weight (H14843 = 444.58, P < 0.001) and condition (H443 = 37.54, P < 0.001) increased significantly throughout the recreational fishing season (December-May). No differences were observed in the lower jaw-fork length (LJFL)-weight (W) relationship between sexes or years but average weight of females (106.2 ±1.1 kg) was significantly greater than males (90.2 ±1.2 kg) from 1985 to 1994 (F684 = 88.37, P < 0.001). Negative allometric growth (W = 2E -08 LJFL2.88) was recorded for all striped marlin. Individual growth was modelled by fitting backcalculated LJFL to eight age classes derived from dorsal spine measurements (n = 94) using the von Bertalanffy growth equation (r2 = 0.96). The parameters estimated in the von Bertalanffy growth equation were asymptotic length (L) = 3010 mm, annual growth rate (K) = 0.22, age (yr) at hypothetical length 0 (t0) = -0.04.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2005|