Fecundidad e índice de prerreclutas de merluza en el sector costero norpatagónico
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Hake Merluccius hubbsi fecundity was estimated with the gravimetric method using ovaries with hydrated oocytes without post-ovulatory follicles. Samples were obtained in three research cruises in the Argentine Sea, off Chubut Province, SW of Peninsula Valdes between 42°S and 45°S, near Isla Escondida, during December 1993, 1994 and 1996, time which coincides with the most important reproductive activity. Relative fecundity values were 722 plus or minus 107, 606 plus or minus 60 and 533 plus or minus 26 oocytes per gram of female without ovaries, respectively. Partial fecundity was adjusted to a potential model for total length and weight without ovaries, corresponding: F=0.9988 Lt3.294 and F=197.91 P1.1585 for 1994 and F=6.9785 Lt2.816 and F=552.22 P0.9889 for 1996. There were no significant differences P>0.10 between 1994 and 1996 batch fecundity values. Indices of prerecruits CPUE late larvae and early juveniles between 10-110 mm were obtained during April 1997 and 1998 in five strata in the North Patagonian coastal area, between 43°30'S and 47°S. The highest values corresponded to Isla Escondida and Fondeadero Mazarredo. Comparison of CPUEs indices of each stratum showed that 1998 values were lower than those of 1997, which indicates there was no sign of stock recovery.