Somatic growth rate is a central life-history parameter, especially in species like fishes or invertebrates which grow throughout their lives. It is needed in conservation and fisheries management but it can sometimes be tricky to estimate.
In a recent study published in the journal Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria, Dr. Rainer Froese of the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research proposes new simplified methods for somatic growth estimation.
Dr. Froese presents two new data-limited methods to estimate somatic growth from maximum length combined with either length or age at maturation or with maximum age. They are applicable to a wide range of species, sizes, and habitats. Using these new methods, growth parameter estimates were produced for the first time for 110 fish species.
“The growth estimates derived with the new methods presented in this study appear suitable for consideration and preliminary guidance in applications for conservation or management,” Dr. Froese points out in his study.
He goes on to suggest that journals accept growth estimates performed with the new methods as new knowledge, if they are the first for a given species.
In order to facilitate the conservation and management of natural resources, FishBase will continue to compile growth parameters, including results obtained with these new methods.
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