Fish Maturity Study
Originally published in omaliprincipeen.weebly.com, know more here
In April, we started a maturity study of the Golden African Snapper (Lutjanus fulgens) in partnership with Forever Principe - a conservation tourism program by Africa's Eden. This predatory species is one of the four snapper species of the genus Lutjanus that exist in Principe’s waters, and there's no information on its growth, diet or reproductive biology. As other snappers, Lutjanus fulgens probably reproduces through spawning aggregations, which makes it especially sensitive to overfishing. Through this study, we aim to better understand the biology of this species. When fishers arrive from fishing, four traders buy the fish from them and send it to the laboratory at Belo Monte, where we take samples of the gonads, fins, otoliths and stomach content. The samples will be taken to the University of Exeter for a histological analysis, to determine the maturity stage of the fish and its age, amongst other variables. This study will be done over several months and this information will be useful for a better management of Principe’s fisheries.