JOURNAL OF APPLIED ICHTHYOLOGY, vol.25, no.1, pp.96-99, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
Studied were the age, growth, maturity and food composition of the brown meager, Sciaena umbra, caught off Trabzon, south-eastern Black Sea (Turkey) in 2002-2003. A total of 329 individuals was collected by spear fishing and hand nets. The thin sectioning method was used for aging the fish otoliths. Fitted von Bertalanffy growth parameters for all fish were: L(infinity) = 51.14 (+/- 1.19) cm, k = 0.27 (+/- 0.02) year(-1) and t(0) = -0.93 (+/- 0.07) year. This study revealed that S. umbra is a relatively slow-growing and long-lived species with a life span in excess of 18 years. Sexual maturity begins when they reach a length of about 15 cm. Lengths at which 50% of brown meagre become mature are 19.50 for males and about 22 cm for females. Spawning begins in June, when the temperature is approximately 18 degrees C, and ends in August. Gut content analysis indicated that this species feeds mainly on crustaceans, then switches to fish as they grow. Sciaena umbra appears to be an apex predator in the upper littoral zone.