Fisheries Research Articles

Reproductive characteristics of the fishery important temperate demersal berycid Centroberyx gerrardi indicate greater reproductive output in regions of upwelling

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Fisheries Management and Ecology


Print: 0969-997X Electronic: 1365-2400


Berycidae, climate change, management, oceanography, reproductive output, sexual maturity


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology


The reproductive biology of Centroberyx gerrardi (Günther) was investigated across ~2,000 km of its southern Australian distribution, encompassing different jurisdictions and varying environmental features. Greater gonad mass and prevalence of spawning fish, along with lower ratios of lengths at maturity:maximum lengths and ages at maturity:maximum ages, were identified at the western-most (Capes) and eastern-most (Great Australian Bight; GAB) regions. Across the study region, spawning peaks in summer/autumn, when water temperatures are warmest. Regional differences in potential “reproductive output,” while not consistent with the eastward decline in mean monthly water temperature, may instead be related to summer upwelling in the Capes and GAB, driving greater oceanic productivity prior to peak spawning, supporting larval survival. In autumn, the prevailing southward and eastward flowing, downwelling Leeuwin Current (LC) strengthens, providing a dispersal mechanism along the west and south Australian coasts, but limiting upwelling effects. Predicted changes in environmental conditions and their potential impacts on C. gerrardi are discussed, in particular how these factors may affect recruitment to stocks and fisheries, requiring a better understanding of source-sink relationships for this species. As environmental changes occur, management strategies to sustain fish resources must adapt to spatially variable and changing reproductive output and be collaborative across jurisdictions.



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