A breakthrough in growth estimation of fishes and invertebrates by FishBase pioneer Dr. Rainer Froese

Co-creator and editor of FishBase Dr Rainer Froese, known and recognized for his advance and computer-intensive stock assessment method CMSY, has recently published a new method for estimating the somatic growth of fishes and invertebrates from its maximum length combined with either its length or age at maturation or with maximum age. With Froese’s simple new method, applicable to data poor fisheries and species with indeterminate growth, first growth parameters for 110 species of fishes have been estimated and are now available in FishBase.

“Somatic growth is a key ingredient in stock assessments for fisheries or conservation, but it is known for only a few commercial species,” says Froese. “That needs to be changed,” he added.

The Journal Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria will be accepting papers with first growth estimates for all species that has been derived with the new method.

The study “Estimating somatic growth of fishes from maximum age or maturity” was recently published in Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria, DOI: 10.3897/aiep.52.80093 with the support from German Federal Nature Conservation Agency / Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN) and with funds from the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety / Bundesumweltministerium (BMU). The FishBase team contributed through the compilation of the data behind the Tables and Figures in this study.

The abstract and Figure 2 of Dr Froese’s new paper are presented below.

Growth in body size is a key life-history trait that has coevolved and is interlinked with maturation, maximum age, mortality, generation time, and the intrinsic rate of population growth. Growth parameters are therefore required inputs in the majority of assessment models used in conservation or fisheries management. However, because of the difficulties involved in the proper aging of individuals, growth parameters are unknown for the vast majority of species. Here, two new data-limited methods are presented to estimate somatic growth from maximum length combined with either length or age at maturation or with maximum age. A comparison with existing growth parameters of fishes (Actinopterygii and Elasmobranchii) shows that the estimates of the new methods fall within the range of established methods. The new methods apply to species with indeterminate growth, such as fishes or invertebrates, and were used here to produce the first growth parameter estimates for 110 species of fishes.


Comparison of growth parameters L and K derived with various data-rich methods (gray dots) and from maximum length and maximum age (black dots with indication of plausible range), in log-log space. 
Part of: Froese R (2022) Estimating somatic growth of fishes from maximum age or maturity. Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 52(2): 125-133. https://doi.org/10.3897/aiep.52.80093



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