ICAENS 2023: 5th International Conference on Applied Engineering and Natural Sciences, Konya, Turkey, 10 - 12 July 2023, vol.1, pp.346
The horse mackerel is one of the major commercially important pelagic fish species in the Black Sea fisheries. The present study was conducted to determine some basic population parameters of the horse mackerel (Trachurus mediterraneus) stock in the Southeastern Black Sea. Fish sampling was carried out monthly in the commercial fishing season between September 2019 and April 2020. A total of 1576 horse mackerel samples taken from commercial purse seine fishing boats were examined. The total length ranged between 7.6 cm and 18.5 cm, and the mean total length was 11.81±1.395 cm. However, the total weight varied between 3.52 and 50.80 g, and the mean weight was 14.22±4.366 g. The sex ratio (F:M) was 1.2:1 and the Chi-square test (χ2) revealed that the difference was insignificant (p>0.05). Horse mackerel individuals were distributed between the ages of 0 and 5. The Von Bertalanffy Growth Function (VBGF) parameters for overall individuals were calculated as L∞=22.17 cm, k=0.19, t0= -2.67, and Ф=1.89. Based on these growth parameters, the total mortality (Z), natural mortality (M), fishing mortality (F) and exploitation rate (E) were estimated as 1.25, 0.30, 0.95 and 0.76, respectively. Furthermore, the great majority (80.32%) of horse mackerel fish samples were under the minimum landing size (<13 cm). The result of this study is pointing that the horse mackerel in the Southeastern Black Sea is exposed to an overfishing pressure that threatens the sustainability of its stocks. These findings also indicates that urgent actions should be taken for sustainable management of the horse mackerel stocks in the Black Sea.