Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 May 2019
Although the red striped mullet is one of the main target fish of the Hellenic demersal fisheries, information about its biology is limited. The aim of this study was to describe the reproductive biology and growth of the species in the south Aegean Sea based on 1032 individuals sampled under the Data Collection Framework Program in 2016. According to the monthly variation of the maturity stages and the gonadosomatic index, spawning activity took place from March to July, although it appeared to occur throughout the year. Length at 50% maturity (L50) was 153.3 and 139.2 mm in females and males, respectively. Individual ages were determined by counting the annuli of otoliths macroscopically. Marginal increment analysis (MIA) combined with complementary information derived from otolith edge analysis, the assessment of the reproductive period and the length–frequency distribution modes of the population showed that annulus formation occurs between February and April. The length–weight relationship revealed a significant sex effect and was described by the parameters α = 0.0155 and b = 2.915 in females, and α = 0.0032 and b = 2.976 in males. The von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) parameters for sexes combined were Linf = 346.1 mm, k = 0.299 year−1 and t0 = −0.984 years. Longevity (tmax) was estimated at 11.75 years. This study provides valuable data for the stock assessment of M. surmuletus in one of the major Hellenic fishing grounds located in the south Aegean Sea.