Exploitation and reproduction of the bullnose ray (Myliobatis freminvillei) caught in an artisanal fishery in La Pared, Margarita Island, Venezuela


Tagliafico, Alejandro, Nicolás Ehemann, María Salomé Rangel, and Néstor Rago
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Species of the genus Myliobatis have been poorly assessed because of a lack of available information regarding their capture and life history. We provide valuable data based on the commercial landings of the bullnose ray (Myliobatis freminvillei), which we studied during 2 separate time periods (October 2005–December 2007 and January– December 2013). A total of 187 individuals were analyzed: 85 females (24.0–96.0 cm in disc width [DW]) and 102 males (22.8–118.0 cm DW). There was no difference in the overall sex ratio (females to males: 4:5); however, differences were found between the annual sex ratio in 2005, 2006, and 2013. Estimated capture per unit of effort for this species was 0.8 individuals/trip (standard deviation [SD] 1.3) or 2.9 kg/trip (SD 5.5), showing an increase in effort through time and significant differences between years. Approximately 25% of both sexes were shorter than the estimated median DW at maturity. No pattern in the reproductive cycle was identified because of the lack of landings during several months; however, mature individuals were observed frequently throughout the study period; gravid females were observed on only 2 occasions. This study provides baseline biological information on the life history of the bullnose ray for necessary fishery management.