Abstract

Some species of marine fish have complex relationships with coastal ecosystems during their reproductive periods, as the needle fish Tylosurus pacificus that forms spawning aggregations in gravel beaches in Utría Park. We described fishery and some aspects of the reproductive biology of T. pacificus and proposed some strategies to mitigate the impact of this event and associated ecological processes. Fisheries monitoring were conducted between April 2008 and February 2009 in the Utría National Park, Colombian Pacific. Catch volumes, length structure, sex ratio and fecundity (n= 84) were analyzed. The total length ranged among 60.5 and 104 cm with a mean and standard deviation of 85.35 ± 9.09 cm. The average fertility of oocytes per gonad was 189 685.56, with a mode of 8 mm diameter and an asynchronous gonadal development. This species spawns collectively on the beach when the tide reaches the highest level during full and new moon, usually in the evening. Fishermen of a near town take advantage of the spawning aggregation of this species. The reproduction study of T. pacificus and ecological processes associated with their spawning, should be expanded to give adequate use, and ensure the sustainability of their fishery over the long term.
Keywords: Needlefish, spawning, fecundity, reproduction, Utría Park, Colombian Pacific.