Scientia Marina, Vol 63, No 3-4 (1999)

Biology of the dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) in the western central Atlantic: a review

Hazel A. Oxenford
Marine Resource and Environmental Management Programme (MAREMP), University of the West Indies, Barbados


The dolphinfish, Coryphaena hippurus, is a circum-tropical oceanic epipelagic species which is of significant importance to both commercial and sport fisheries in the western central Atlantic. Despite this, little attention has been paid to conducting biological stock assessments and developing management strategies for this species, and it remains unmanaged across most of the region. This paper summarizes aspects of the biology of dolphinfish that are relevant to assessment and management from studies of this species in the southeastern United States, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Throughout their range in the western central Atlantic, dolphinfish are seasonally abundant and presumed to be highly migratory. They exhibit high growth rates, early maturity, batch spawning over an extended season, a short life span and a varied diet. Marked differences in some biological characteristics and in the frequency of IDH-2 alleles between dolphinfish from the southeastern USA and the Caribbean suggest a relatively complex stock structure for this species, which needs further investigation to improve the information base for development of management strategies for dolphinfish across this region.


Dolphinfish; Coryphaena hippurus; biology; western central Atlantic; review

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Copyright (c) 1999 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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