Habitat specific trade-offs in growth and survival by hogfish Lachnolaimus maximus in southeast Florida
Bulletin of Marine Science
The hogfish Lachnolaimus maximus, an economically important, reef-associated protogynous teleost, has gained additional interest from fisheries managers due to evidence of overfishing in the southeastern United States. This study collected data on age and growth of hogfish in southeast Florida (SEFL), an understudied part of the species’ range. Hogfish (n = 227) were collected from three reef tracts at different depths between January 2016 and August 2017. The average maximum potential length (L∞) was 414 mm overall and showed evidence of Lee’s Phenomenon occurring relative to the eastern Gulf of Mexico, an area of presumed lower fishing pressure, where L∞ was 920 mm. Hogfish growth was also found to vary significantly by reef location in SEFL. Otolith-based aging revealed that SEFL hogfish growth past age 3 significantly decreased as reef depth increased between the three reef tracts [length at age 9 (L9) = 564, 405, 351 mm FL]. By L9, hogfish from the shallowest reef tract (4–6 m) were on average 61% longer and four times the weight of individuals collected from the deepest reef tract (15–25 m). Annual survival also increased with depth (42%, 65%, 73%), with a linear relationship to growth at L9 where R2 = 1.0, indicating there are inherent trade-offs between growth and longevity in hogfish of southeast Florida.
Ian A. Towne, Paul Arena, Angela B. Collins, and David Kerstetter. 2021. Habitat specific trade-offs in growth and survival by hogfish Lachnolaimus maximus in southeast Florida .Bulletin of Marine Science , (3) : 427 -440. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1190.