Fisheries and stock assessment of shilig, Leuciscus vorax Heckel, 1843 in East Hammar marsh, Southern Iraq


The fisheries and stock assessment of shilig Leuciscus vorax (Aspius vorax) the in East Hammar marsh, which is the first study to assess this species in southern Iraq. A total of 5751 specimens was collected by several fishing gears for a period of January in 2009 until May in 2010. Total lengths of L. vorax were ranged from 3.7 to 55.6 cm was as total length. The species constituted 6.4% from the total catch by seine net and the catch rate ranged from 0.84 kg/hr in May 2009 to 3.33 kg/hr in January 2010 and rate 2.01 kg/hr. The length-weight relationship obtained was W= 0.0068 x L3.0425. The fish stock was assessed by lengths, frequency technique using FiSAT program. Growth, mortality parameters and exploitation rate estimated were: L∞= 65.1 cm, K= 0.22, Z= 0.96, M= 0.5, F= 0.46, E= 0.48, E0.1= 0.411 and Emax= 0.52. Recruitment pattern of the species exhibited single pulse modal contributed 45% of the total recruits for the period April-September with a peak during June-August. The mature individuals of L. vorax were exposed to fishing before the spawning season in Eastern Al-Hammar marsh, because the value Lc (18.3 cm) is lower than Lm (21.5 cm). Therefore, this study suggests increasing the mesh size and regulating the fishing effort.