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Seasonal Catches, Size and Meristic Data for Sprat, Sprattus Sprattus, in the Severn Estuary

  • I. C. Potter (a1) and P. N. Claridge (a2)

Extract

While the sprat, Sprattus sprattus (L.), may live for up to a total of six years, at the end of which time the total length can exceed 150 mm, the fishery in British waters is based primarily on the second, third and fourth year classes (Robertson, 1936, 1938; De Silva, 1973). Historically, the sprat was a major contributor to the fishery of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary (Matthews, 1933; Lloyd, 1942). Although this fishery has declined during recent decades, the sprat has remained an important component of the teleost fauna of the region. This point is illustrated by the observation that S. sprattus was by far the most abundant of all teleosts in plankton samples taken throughout the Bristol Channel between the spring and autumn of 1974 (Russell, 1980). While length–frequency data were provided by Russell (1980) for these recently spawned sprat and there is comparable information for those sprat which form the basis of the commercial fishery in the Bristol Channel (Lloyd, 1942), no such data are available for those members of the population which are known sometimes to enter the Severn Estuary in considerable numbers (Lloyd, 1941).

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Seasonal Catches, Size and Meristic Data for Sprat, Sprattus Sprattus, in the Severn Estuary

  • I. C. Potter (a1) and P. N. Claridge (a2)

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