Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 35 Issue 1&2

Observations on the carangid resources of the southwest coast of India

P. Premalatha

Carangid fishery is of appreciable commercial importance as they promise very high yield outside the present fishing zone. They contribute significantly to demersal and pelagic resources of the southwest coast. Though there are many species reported, only few of them mainly support the fishery. Of these, species of the genera Megalaspis, Decapterus and Alepes are found to be the most abundant in the fishery. A comprehensive review of the information on the biology of these species are made. An attempt is also made to correlate the abundance with their lar\al occurrence.

Observation indicates that in recent years carangid fishery shows considerable increase in their landings. In general, favourable season for the fishery is during September to November period though they appear in the catches almost throughout the year. But individual species show variation in their season and area of occurrence. In the case of M. cordyla they are abundant during October to May in the northern area (11o N to 13° N). In the southern region (09° N to 10° N) adults with ripe and running stages are observed during April to May. Their larval study was very effective to delineate the spawning area and season.

The species of the genus Decapterus have a wide distribution. The fishing season starts in September with a peak in October. But unusually high quantity of mature specimens are often recorded during May; which indicates the possibility of their breeding movement. Their larval collections showed maximum abundance from Quilon to Cape Comorin region during May to November with a bimodal peak one in June and other in September.

With the approach of monsoon, Alepes kalla are found in abundance in pelagic trawl hauls operated between Alleppey and Cochin area. Juveniles and immature specimens are found to be dominant in the fishery. Recruitment of young ones to fishery are observed during July to October period. Distribution of their larvae showed that they are found more in the near shore waters of Cochin area.

Among the other carangids. species of Selar, Caranx and Carangoides are landed in fair quantities. Rest of the varieties support the fishery in general. 'No gear is exclusively employed for carangids. They are caught in mid-water trawls, pelagic trawls, purse seine and also in hook and line.

Date : 31-10-1993