Growth of Mediterranean young-of-the-year bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus (Scombridae): regional differences and hatching periods




daily growth, young-of-the-year, juveniles, Mediterranean, Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus


This study analyses growth rates of bluefin tuna young-of-the-year in the Mediterranean. Potential differences in growth rates were examined between years (2013 and 2016) and regions (eastern, central and western Mediterranean). A total of 134 specimens were aged by analysing otolith microstructure. Fish sizes ranged between 14.7 and 57 cm fork length, and estimated ages varied between 45 and 192 days. The annual growth models explained more than 90% of growth variability. The observed differences in the growth rates between 2013 (3.2 mm d-1) and 2016 (2.7 mm d-1) were not significant, whereas the daily growth rate was significantly faster in the eastern region (4.01 mm d-1) than in the western (2.52 mm d-1) and central (2.75 mm d-1) regions. Larval hatching windows were consistent with the known spawning periods but lasted longer than previously reported in the central and eastern regions. In the central region the hatching period showed two peaks in mid-June and mid-July, consistent with previous studies pointing to two distinct spawning pulses. These pulses might be due to the existence of different bluefin tuna contingents spawning at different times, the Mediterranean residents and the Atlantic migrants, but further research is needed to support this hypothesis.


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How to Cite

Gordoa A, Fraile I, Arrizabalaga H, Raventós N. Growth of Mediterranean young-of-the-year bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus (Scombridae): regional differences and hatching periods. scimar [Internet]. 2021Jun.11 [cited 2023Oct.3];85(2):61-9. Available from:




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