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Aims: To determine the population dynamics and assess the exploitation level of Mystus gulio, Acanthopagrus latus, Chelon parsia, Otolithoides pama and Lates calcarifer in the Sundarbans ecosystem of Bangladesh.
Study Design: Monthly length-frequency data of five fish species were collected from the Sundarbans ecosystem. The lengths of five fish species were recorded to the nearest one cm intervals in each month.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted from January to December 2011 in the Sundarbans ecosystem in Bangladesh.
Methodology: The FAO-ICLARM Fish Stock Assessment Tools (FiSAT II) software was used to estimate the von Bertalanffy growth parameters (L∝ and K), mortality coefficients (Z, M and F), probability of capture, recruitment pattern and Yield/Biomass-per-recruit for five commercially important fish species caught by fishers in the Sundarbans ecosystem of Bangladesh.
Results: In the Sundarbans ecosystem of Bangladesh area the values of asymptotic length (L∝) for Mystus gulio, Acanthopagrus latus, Chelon parsia, Otolithoides pama and Lates calcarifer were found to be 23.0 cm, 33.6 cm, 30.0 cm, 32.5 cm and 55.0 cm respectively while the growth co-efficient (K) were 0.75, 0.85, 1.1, 0.8 and 0.5 respectively. The estimates for L∝ (23.00 – 55.0 cm) and K (0.5-1.1 year-1) obtained were consistent with those available in the literature. Relatively high K and low L∝ values, typical of short-lived tropical fishes, were obtained for Mystus gulio, Acanthopagrus latus, Chelon parsia and Otolithoides pama. The length growth performance index (ϕ’) of the Pauly and Munro’s function was in the range of 2.599 – 3.180. Natural mortality, fishing mortality and total mortality were in the range of 0.956-1.89, 0.55-1.58 and 1.52-3.3 respectively. Estimates for total mortality (Z) and natural mortality (M) imply low annual rates of survival and high turnover rates. The recruitment pattern suggested one main pulse of annual recruitment. The exploitation rate was estimated to be between 27% and 47% and the length at first capture was estimated to be approximately 19-54% of L∝. The exploitation rate obtained for five fish species are relatively lower compared to other available studies in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. The growth and exploitation rates obtained were compared with available estimates to evaluate the consistency of the results with current knowledge about the species in the region.
Conclusion: The study indicated that the length-at-first-capture/L∝ seem to be a simple parameter, which could be used to make a rapid assessment of the status of the stocks. All together, the present study reveals that the population of these five studied species attains acceptable sustainability levels in the Sundarbans ecosystem and scope for a slight increase in catch efforts.
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