a1 School of Ecology and Environment, Deakin University, P.O. Box 243, Warrnambool, Vic 3280, Australia
This study was based on wild-caught blacklip abalone Haliotis rubra L., from Port Fairy waters, south eastern Australia (142°15'E; 38°21'S), from July 1998 to November 1999, and was initiated to evaluate the spawning season and other aspects of its reproductive biology. The shell length and body weight of female and male abalone sampled ranged from 12.0 to 18.6 and 12 to 15 cm, and 137 to 529 and 148 to 585 g, respectively. The sex ratio did not vary significantly from 1:1 through the year. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) ranged from 3.0% to 8.4% in males, and 2.5% to 14.1% for females, and the highest GSI as well as the highest proportion of mature animals were recorded from September to October. During these months the hepatosomatic index (HSI) was low, and an inverse correlation between GSI and HSI (P < 0.05) was evident. Fecundity of blacklip abalone ranged from 1.09 to 7.5 million eggs for females of 12–14.5 cm in length, and 115–487 g in total body weight, respectively. The lipid content of the female gonad increased significantly from about July to November, and an opposite trend was observed for lipid content of the digestive gland. Seasonal changes in the protein and ash contents of the gonad and/or the digestive gland were not always significant.
(Received April 28 2002)
(Accepted August 17 2002)
(Online publication September 15 2003)