Alternate Title

Swordfish Reproduction in the Atlantic Ocean: An Overview

Document Type



There are 3 unit stocks of Atlantic swordfish, Xiphias gladius, separated into Mediterranean, North and South Atlantic with no precise delimitation between them, and each contains its spawning grounds far from stock boundary areas. This overview characterizes the reproductive information for each stock unit and describes reproductive metrics in detail. Spawning in the western North Atlantic consists of 2 spawning groups: one in open ocean waters and the other in waters close to land masses and fast current systems. Spawning occurs from December to June within the subtropical area (13°N-35°N). Within the Mediterranean, spawning takes place between June and August, and appears to be restricted between 35°N and 40°N. The information for the South Atlantic is limited, but spawning concentrations are present in April-June on the western side off Brazil and the equatorial area, and from October to March in the central-eastern equatorial area. In the western North Atlantic, females are observed to mature at larger sizes (Mf50 =178.7 cm) and older ages (age 5.03) than in the South Atlantic (Mf50 = 156 cm) and Mediterranean Sea (Mf50 = 142.2 cm). Estimates of batch fecundities in swordfish in the Atlantic Ocean appear to be similar, and can reach up to 8-9.9 million eggs per spawn.

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