Abstract


The striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax) is found in temperate and tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Ocean. It is particularly abundant in the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Specimens brought to Cabo San Lucas port (22°53’ N y 109°54’ W) by the sport fishery fleet that operates withing a radius of 54 km from 1988 to 1993 were sexes, measured and weighed. A total 1030 individuals were sampled. Dorsal fin spines (389) were collected for age estimation. The spines were sectioned and hyaline-opaque bands counted. The relation of length to spine radius was similar for males and females. The fourth dorsal spine reflected the growth of the fish. The rhythm of growth mark formation is yearly and related to the sea surface temperature. Ten age groups were found and the seventh group was the most abundant, followed by groups “6” and “8”. The age structure of the striped marlin was stable in the study period. The observed sizes were 160-280 cm jaw length with 90% of the organisms measuring between 190 and 225 cm. The small individuals recruit to the fishery from June to December.
Keywords: tetrapturus, striped marlin, age determination, spines