Cichlids are invasive fish to Iraqi waters and became well established and prevailing in different waters. Despite that, there is no stock assessment study conducted for these fish. So, growth, mortality, recruitment and yield-per-recruit of two cichlid’s species; Coptodon zillii and Oreochromis aureus from the Shatt Al-Arab River, Iraq were evaluated from November 2015 to October 2016 using the FiSAT software. A total of 1285 C. zillii (2.9-24.0 cm TL) and 1353 O. aureus (4.5-25.0 cm TL) were examined. Length-weight relationships were derived, indicating allometric growth for both species. The growth parameters (L?, K, Rn, to and ?) obtained for C. zillii were 25.5 cm, 0.320, 0.212, -0.793 and 2.318, respectively, while for O. aureus were 27.8, 0.490, 0.214, -0.271 and 2.578, respectively. The annual rate of total mortality (Z), fishing (F) and natural (M) for C. zillii was found to be 1.51, 0.84 and 0.68 respectively, and for O. aureus 2.49, 1.08 and 1.41, respectively. The present exploitation rates (Epresent) for C. zillii and O. aureus were computed to be 0.454 and 0.57, respectively. Lengths at first capture (LC) were 12.97 cm for C. zillii and 13.25 cm for O. aureus. The peaks of recruitment of C. zillii and O. aureus were from February to May and May to July, respectively. The Epresent for C. zillii and O. aureus were below the biological target reference points (F0.1 and Fmax), indicating that these species were not overexploited. For management purposes, more yields could be obtained by an increase in the fishing activities on cichlids.
Cichlids, Growth, Mortality, Shatt Al-Arab River, Yield-per-recruit
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