Poulations dynamics and stock assessment of common kilka (Clupeonella cultriventris caspia ) in Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea



This paper examines the changes in the population biology and biomass of common kilka (Clupeonella cultriventris caspia) in the Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea from 1995-2004. For most years during this 10-year period, we estimated the age structure of the catch, length-weight relationship, von Bertalanffy growth parameters, condition factor, sex ratios, maturity stages determined from ovarian analysis, natural and fishing mortality, age at first capture and biomass. Growth parameters were estimated as L¥=132mm, K=0.259/yr, t0=-1.285/yr. The instantaneous coefficient of natural mortality was estimated at 0.506/yr and the instantaneous coefficient of fishing mortality varied during the 10-year period between 0.125/yr to 1.487/yr. Biomass of the common kilka increased from about 16,000mt in 1995 to more than 41,000mt in year of 2002. This increase in common kilka was simultaneous with a sharp decline in anchovy kilka, changes in zooplankton abundance and composition, and especially increase in zooplankton species used by common kilka. We concluded that at the present time, the stock of common kilka is being over-fished.