Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 127–137 | Cite as

Growth and mortality of bigeye tuna Thunnus obesus (Scombridae) in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean

  • Guoping Zhu
  • Yingqi Zhou
  • Liuxiong Xu
  • Xiaojie Dai


Biological parameters such as age, growth and age (or size) at maturity are vital for stock assessment and management. Aging is essential in yielding such information. However, limited aging studies have been conducted for large tropical pelagic species in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean. The objective of this study is to conduct a length frequency analysis for estimating growth and mortality of bigeye tuna in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean using samples from the Chinese longline fishery during February to November 2006. The von Bertalanffy growth parameters of asymptotic fork length L and growth coefficient k were estimated at L = 207.4 cm fork length, k = 0.23 year-1, and theoretical age at zero length t 0 = −0.40 year. The total mortality rate (Z) was estimated to be 0.60; the fishing mortality rate (F) and the natural mortality rate (M) were 0.25 year-1 and 0.35 year-1, respectively. The exploitation rate (E) was 0.16. This study provides the estimates of growth and mortality rate for bigeye tuna in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean, which can be used as biological input parameters in further stock evaluations in this region. However, age analysis, further validation of the age composition and stock structure are needed for future studies.


Bigeye tuna Thunnus obesus Growth Mortality Eastern Pacific Ocean Size frequency analysis 



We thank Liu Wei who assisted in the field sampling in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean. We gratefully acknowledge the captains and crews of the longliners “LONG XIN 602, 603 and 606” for permitting sampling on board their vessels even the vessels were in aboard. Finally, we acknowledge Chen Yong in School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the manuscript. The present study was sponsored by the Tuna Scientific Observer Program of China, Shanghai (China) Leading Academic Project under Grant No. S30702, Shanghai Scientific Special Funds for Cultivation and Selection of Excellent Young Teaching Staffs of Higher Education under Grant No. B-8101-08-0022, Innovation Program of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission under Grant No. 09YZ275 and Initial Doctoral Funding of Shanghai Fisheries University under Grant No. B-8202-07-0279.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guoping Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yingqi Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liuxiong Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaojie Dai
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Shanghai Education Commission for Oceanic Fisheries Resources Exploitation, College of Marine SciencesShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.The Key Laboratory of Sustainable Exploitation of Oceanic Fisheries ResourcesMinistry of Education, Shanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina

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