Scientia Marina, Vol 75, No 2 (2011)

Growth of young-of-the-year European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus, L.) in the Bay of Biscay

Naroa Aldanondo
AZTI–Tecnalia, Marine Research Unit, Spain

Unai Cotano
AZTI–Tecnalia, Marine Research Unit, Spain

Egoitz Etxebeste
AZTI–Tecnalia, Marine Research Unit, Spain


Otolith daily increment analysis was used to describe the first growth season of young-of-the-year anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus L.) in the Bay of Biscay. Anchovy larvae and juveniles were sampled during their growth season over a three year period (2004, 2005 and 2006). A logistic curve was fitted to the length at age data. At the end of the first year of growth, length was 168.3 mm, with a maximum growth rate of 1.85 mm day -1 for 73 days after hatching. Moreover, a Gompertz growth model was applied to estimate otolith growth parameters. At the end of the first year the otolith radius was 1759 μm, with a maximum growth increment of 22.19 μm day-1 observed 56 days after hatching. Standard length and otolith radius were closely related; however, this relationship showed a characteristic change from exponential in the larval stage to linear in the juvenile stage.


Bay of Biscay; early life stage; European anchovy; fish length-otolith radius relationship; growth; otolith

Full Text:



Aldanondo, N., U. Cotano, E. Etxebeste, X. Irigoien, P. Álvarez, A. Martínez de Murguía and D.L. Herrero. – 2008. Validation of daily increments deposition in the otoliths of European anchovy larvae (Engraulis encrasicolus L.) reared under different temperature conditions. Fish. Res., 93: 257-264. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2008.04.012

Aldanondo, N., U. Cotano, M. Tiepolo, G. Boyra and X. Irigoien. – 2010. Growth and movement patterns of early juvenile European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus L.) in the Bay of Biscay based on otolith microstructure and chemistry. Fish. Oceanogr., 19(3): 196-208. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2010.00537.x

Allain, G., P. Petitgas, P. Grellier and P. Lazure. – 2003. The selection process from larval to juvenile stages of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) in the Bay of Biscay investigated by Lagrangian simulations and comparative otolith growth. Fish. Oceanogr., 12: 407-418. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2419.2003.00245.x

Allain, G., P. Petitgas, P. Lazure and P. Grellier. – 2007. Biophysical modelling of larval drift, growth and survival for the prediction of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) recruitment in the Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic). Fish. Oceanogr., 16: 489-505. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2007.00443.x

Anderson, J.T. – 1988. A review of size dependent survival during pre–recruit stages of fishes in relation to recruitment. J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci., 8: 55-66.

Basilone, G., C. Guisande, B. Patti, S. Mazzola, A. Cuttitta, A. Bonanno and A. Kallianiotis. – 2004. Linking habitat conditions and growth in the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus). Fish. Res., 68: 9-19. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2004.02.012

Bellido, J.M., G.J. Pierce, J.L. Romero and M. Millán. – 2000. Use of frequency analysis methods to estimate growth of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus L. 1758) in the Gulf of Cádiz (SW Spain). Fish. Res., 48: 107-115. doi:10.1016/S0165-7836(00)00183-1

Bellier, E., B. Planque and P. Petitgas. – 2007. Historical fluctuations in spawning location of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) and sardine (Sardina pilchardus) in the Bay of Biscay during 1967–73 and 2000–2004. Fish. Oceanogr., 16: 1-15. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2006.00410.x

Borja, A., A. Uriarte, V. Valencia, L. Motos and A. Uriarte. – 1996. Relationships between anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus L.) recruitment and the environment in the Bay of Biscay. Sci. Mar., 60(Suppl. 2): 179-192.

Borja, A., A. Uriarte, J. Egaña, L. Motos and V. Valencia. – 1998. Relationships between anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) recruitment and environment in the Bay of Biscay (1967-1996). Fish. Oceanogr., 7: 375-380. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2419.1998.00064.x

Box, G.E., W.G. Hunter and J.S. Hunter. – 1978. Statistics for Experimenters. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Butler, J.L. – 1992. Collection and preservation of material for otolith analysis. In: D.K. Stevenson and S.E. Campana (eds.), Otolith microstructure examination and analysis. Can. Spec. Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 117; 13-17.

Campana, S.E. – 1984. Microstructural growth patterns in the otoliths of larval and juvenile starry flounder, Platichthys stellatus. Can. J. Zool., 62: 1507-1512. doi:10.1139/z84-219

Campana, S.E. and J.D. Neilson. – 1985. Microstructure of fish otoliths. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sic., 42: 1014-1032. doi:10.1139/f85-127

Cermeño, P., A. Uriarte, A.M. De Murguía and B. Morales-Nin. – 2003. Validation of daily increment formation in otoliths of juvenile and adult European anchovy. J. Fish Biol., 62: 679-691. doi:10.1046/j.1095-8649.2003.00056.x

Cermeño, P., A. Uriarte, B. Morales-Nin, U. Cotano and P. Álvarez.– 2008. Setting up interpretation criteria for ageing juvenile european anchovy otoliths. Sci. Mar., 72(4): 733-742.

Chambers, R.C. and T.J. Miller. – 1995. Evaluating fish growth by means of otolith increment analysis: special properties of individual–level longitudinal data. In: J.D. Secor and S.E. Campana (eds.), Recent developments in fish otolith research, pp. 155-175. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

Cotano, U. and P. Álvarez. – 2003. Growth of young-of-the-year mackerel in the Bay of Biscay. J. Fish Biol., 62: 1010–1020. doi:10.1046/j.1095-8649.2003.00093.x

Cotano, U., X. Irigoien, E. Etxebeste, P. Álvarez, L. Zarauz, J. Mader and L. Ferrer. – 2008. Distribution, growth and survival of anchovy larvae (Engraulis encrasicolus L.) in relation to hydrodynamic and trophic environment in the Bay of Biscay. J. Plankton Res., 30: 467-481. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbn011

Cowan, J.H., E.D. Houde and K.A. Rose. – 1996. Size–dependent vulnerability of marine fish larvae to predation: an individual-based numerical experiment. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 53: 23-37. doi:10.1006/jmsc.1996.0003

Dulčić, J. – 1997. Growth of anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus (L.), larvae in the Northern Adriatic Sea. Fish. Res., 31: 189-195. doi:10.1016/S0165-7836(97)00030-1

Folkvord, A., L. Ystanes, A. Johannessen and E. Moksness. – 1996. RNA:DNA ratios and growth of herring (Clupea harengus) larvae reared in mesocosms. Mar. Biol., 126: 591-602. doi:10.1007/BF00351326

Folkvord, A., K. Rukan, A. Johannessen and E. Moksness. – 1997. Early life history of herring larvae in contrasting feeding environments determined by otolith microstructure analysis. J. Fish Biol., 51: 250-263. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1997.tb06102.x

Folkvord, A., A. Johannessen and E. Moksness. – 2004. Temperature-dependent otolith growth in Norwegian spring-spawning herring (Clupea harengus L.) larvae. Sarsia, 89: 297-310. doi:10.1080/00364820410002532

García, A. and I. Palomera. – 1996. Anchovy early life history and its relation to its surrounding environment in the Western Mediterranean basin. Sci. Mar., 60(Suppl. 2): 155-166.

García, A., D. Cortés, T. Ramírez, A. Giráldez and Á. Carpena. – 2003. Contribution of larval growth rate variability to the recruitment of the Bay of Málaga anchovy (SW Mediterranean) during the 2000-2001 spawning seasons. Sci. Mar., 67(4): 477-490.

Geffen, A.J. – 1982. Otolith ring deposition in relation to growth rate in herring (Clupea harengus) and turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) larvae. Mar. Biol., 71: 317-326. doi:10.1007/BF00397048

Hare, J.A. and R.K. Cowen. – 1995. Effect of age, growth rate, and ontogeny on the otolith size-fish size relationship in bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, and the implications for back-calculation of size in fish early life history stages. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sic., 52: 1909-1922. doi:10.1139/f95-783

Hare, J.A. and R.K. Cowen. – 1997. Size, growth, development, and survival of the planktonic larvae of Pomatomus saltatrix (Pisces: Pomatomidae). Ecology, 78: 2415-2431.

Hinrichsen, H-H., V. Buehler and C. Clemmesen. – 2007. An individual-based model for the direct conversion of otolith into somatic growth rates. Fish. Oceanogr., 16: 207-215. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2007.00425.x

Houde, E.D. – 1989. Comparative growth, mortality, and energetics of marine fish larvae: Temperature and implied latitudinal effects. Fish. Bull., 87(3): 471-495.

ICES, 2007. Report of the Working Group on the Assessment of Mackerel, Horse, Mackerel, Sardine and Anchovy (WGMHSA). 4-13 September 2007, Copenhagen: ICES Headquarters. ICES CM 2007 ACFM:31.

Irigoien, X., O. Fiksen, U. Cotano, A. Uriarte, P. Álvarez, H. Arrizabalaga, G. Boyra, M. Santos, Y. Sagarminaga, P. Otheguy, E. Etxebeste, L. Zarauz, I. Artetxe and L. Motos. – 2007. Could Biscay Bay Anchovy recruit through a spatial loophole? Prog. Oceanogr., 74: 132-148. doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2007.04.011

Irigoien, X., U. Cotano, G. Boyra, M. Santos, P. Alvarez, P. Otheguy, E. Etxebeste, A. Uriarte, L. Ferrer and L. Ibaibarriaga. – 2008. From egg to juvenile in the Bay of Biscay: spatial patterns of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) recruitment in a non-upwelling region. Fish. Oceanogr., 17: 446-462. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2008.00492.x

Ivarjord, T., T. Pedersen and E. Moksness. – 2008. Effects of growth rates on the otolith increments deposition rate in capelin larvae (Mallotus villosus). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 358: 170-177. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2008.02.011

Junquera, S. and G. Perez-Gándaras. – 1993. Population diversity in Bay of Biscay anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus L. 1758) as revealed by multivariate analysis of morphometric and meristic characters. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 50: 383-391. doi:10.1006/jmsc.1993.1043

La Mesa, M., F. Donato, G. Giannetti and E. Arneri. – 2009. Growth and mortality rates of European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) in the Adriatic Sea during the transition from larval to juvenile stages. Fish. Res., 96: 275-280. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2008.12.011

Meekan, M.G. and L. Fortier. – 1996. Selection for fast growth during the larval life of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua on the Scotian Shelf. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 137: 25-37. doi:10.3354/meps137025

Moksness, E. – 1992. Differences in otolith microstructure and body growth rate of North Sea herring (Clupea harengus L.) larvae in the period 1987-1989. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 49: 223-230. doi:10.1093/icesjms/49.2.223

Morales-Nin, B. and J.P. Pertierra. – 1990. Growth rates of the anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus and the sardine Sardina pilchardus in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Mar. Biol., 107: 349-356. doi:10.1007/BF01319836

Mosegaard, H., H. Svedaeng and K. Taberman. – 1988. Uncoupling of somatic and otolith growth rates in Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) as an effect of differences in temperature response. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sic., 45: 1514-1524. doi:10.1139/f88-180

Motos, L., A. Uriarte and V. Valencia. – 1996. The spawning environment of the Bay of Biscay anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus L.). Sci. Mar., 60: 117-140.

Neuman, M.J., D.A. Witting and K.W. Able. – 2001. Relationships between otolith microstructure, otolith growth, somatic growth and ontogenetic transitions in two cohorts of windowpane. J. Fish Biol., 58: 967-984. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2001.tb00548.x

Otterlei, E., A. Folkvord and G. Nyhammer. – 2002. Temperature dependent otolith growth of larval and early juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). J. Mar. Sci., 59: 851-860.

Palomera, I., B. Morales-Nin and J. Lleonart. – 1988. Larval growth of anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus, in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Mar. Biol., 99: 283-291. doi:10.1007/BF00391991

Palomera, I., M.P. Olivar, J. Salat, A. Sabatés, M. Coll, A. García and B. Morales-Nin. – 2007. Small pelagic fish in the NW Mediterranean Sea: An ecological review. Prog. Oceanogr., 74: 377-396. doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2007.04.012

Popper, A.N. and S. Coombs. – 1980. Auditory mechanisms in teleost fishes. Am. Sci., 68: 429-440.

Ré, P. – 1996. Anchovy spawning in Mira estuary (southwestern Portugal). Sci. Mar., 60(Suppl. 2): 141-153.

Ricker, W.E. – 1979. Growth rates and models. In: W.S. Hoar, D.J. Randall and J.R. Brett (eds.), Fish Physiology, pp. 678-743.Academic Press, New York.

Ricklefs, R.E. – 1967. A graphical method of fitting equations to growth curves. Ecology, 48: 973-983. doi:10.2307/1934545

Santos, A.M.P., A. Chícharo, A. Dos Santos, T. Moita, P.B. Oliveira, A. Peliz and P. Ré. – 2007. Physical–biological interactions in the life history of small pelagic fish in the Western Iberia Upwelling Ecosystem. Prog. Oceanogr., 74: 192–209. doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2007.04.008

Secor, D.H. and J.M. Dean. – 1989. Somatic growth effects on the otolith-fish size relationship in young pond-reared striped bass, Morone sexatilis. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sic., 46: 113-121. doi:10.1139/f89-015

Simard, P., M. Castonguay, D. D’Amours and P. Magnan. – 1992. Growth comparison between juvenile Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) from the two spawning groups of the Northwest Atlantic. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sic., 49: 2242-2248. doi:10.1139/f92-245

Somarakis, S., B. Catalano and N. Tsimenides. – 1998. Catchability and retention of larval European anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus, with bongo nets. Fish. Bull., 96: 917-925.

Uriarte, A., P. Prouzet and B. Villamor. – 1996. Bay of Biscay and Ibero Atlantic anchovy populations and their fisheries. Sci. Mar., 60(Suppl. 2): 237-255.

Wilhelm, M.R., S.J. Painting, J.G. Field, M. Kerstan and M.D. Durholtz. – 2005. Impact of environmental factors on survival of larval and juvenile Cape anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus (G.) in the southern Benguela upwelling region, determined from hatchdate distributions: implications for recruitment. Mar. Freshwater Res., 56: 561-572. doi:10.1071/MF04145

Xie, S., Y. Watanabe, T. Saruwatari, R. Masuda, Y. Yamashita, C. Sassa and Y. Konishi. – 2005. Growth and morphological development of sagittal otoliths of larval and early juvenile Trachurus japonicus. J. Fish Biol., 66: 1704-1719. doi:10.1111/j.0022-1112.2005.00717.x

Copyright (c) 2011 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contact us

Technical support