Differences between Whole Otolith and Broken-Burnt Otolith Ages of Red Mullet (Mullus barbatus ponticus Essipov, 1927) Sampled from the Black Sea (Samsun, Turkey)


Abstract: Different bony structures as scales, vertebrae, otoliths, opercles and subopercles of 156 red mullet (Mullus barbatus ponticus Essipov, 1927) sampled from the Black Sea were removed for age determination. Otoliths were read once by two experienced readers. However, due to the difficulty of interpretation of annuli on the otolith edge, the broken-burnt method was applied to the 61 otoliths. Broken-burnt otoliths were also read once by the same two experienced readers. When whole otolith and broken-burnt otolith ages were compared, high agreement within structures and low precision between structures were observed. Finally, it was found that the age of fish was underestimated by a minimum of one year by whole otolith. Therefore, we recommend that the broken-burnt otolith method should be used in the age determination of red mullet.

Keywords: Black Sea, red mullet, otolith, age determination

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