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Merluccius hubbsi:   (click for more)

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  • Merluccius gayi  , (nec Guichenot, 1848):Cunningham, 1871.
  • Merluccius gayi hubbsi  Mann, 1954
  • Merluccius bilinearis  , (nec Mitchill, 1814):Ribeiro,1915.
  • Merluccius merluccius hubbsi  Angelescuetal, 1958
    FAO Names
    En - Argentine hake, Fr - Merlu d'Argentine, Sp - Merluza argentina.
    3Alpha Code: HKP     Taxonomic Code: 1480500406
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Merluccios hubbsi  Marini, 1933, Rev.Physis, 11:322 (off the Provinces of Buenos Aires and Patagonia).
    Diagnostic Features
    Head short, 24.4 to 28.0% of standard length. Measurements in relation to head length: upper jaw 47 3 to 52.2%; snout 31.0 to 35 1%; eye diameter 15 5 to 20 7%;  gill rakers short and thick with blunt tips, total number on first arch 12 to 16 (usually 13 to 16). Urohyal bone of hyoid arch thickened.  First dorsal fin with 1 spine and 9 to 12 rays; second dorsal fin with 34 to 40 rays; anal fin with 36 to 41 rays; pectoral fins rather short, their tips not reaching origin of anal fin; caudal fin margin usually truncate in adults, but sometimes convex in smaller fish.  Scales rather large, 120 to 142 along lateral line.  Total number of vertebrae 50 to 53.  Colour: silvery with golden luster on back, silvery white on belly. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    East coast of southern South America, from about 28° to 30°S off southern Brazil, to around 54°S near the Falkland-Malvinas Islands.
    Habitat and Biology
    Inhabits continental shelf depths between 50 and 500 m (mainly 100 to 200 m),at temperatures between 3.8 and 6.5°C (mainly around 5.5°C).  Females grow faster than males from 3 years of age onwards;
    spawning occurs in early summer (late October to February) in inshore areas: off the Patagonian shelf, from December to January north of 47°S; and from October to November south of this latitude; while north of 39°S, it occurs later, in autumn. Spawning grounds are located mainly in coastal waters shallower than 100 m, between 42 and 45°S, mainly off of Rio de la Plata.  In the southern summer, the species concentrates in shallow waters between 50 and 150 m in the area south of 40°S; in winter the population moves northward to concentrate in the area between 35°S and 40°S at depths between 70 and 500 m. Seasonal onshore-offshore migrations are undertaken, i.e., inshore during spring and summer, and offshore into deep water wintering areas after spawning, as well as dial vertical migrations, probably related to feeding.First maturity is reached around 36 cm (total length) for males and 40 cm for females. Fishes larger than 60 cm are mainly composed of females.Large hake feed on fish (anchovies, hake, nototheniids, myctophids and Southern blue whiting), squids and macrozooplankton (euphausiids and amphipods); smaller individuals feed on mysids arad amphipods.
    Maximum 95 cm total length; males common to 50 cm, females to 60 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Argentine hake is an important constituent of the coastal fisheries of Argentina and Uruguay. Foreign vessels have recently started to catch this hake in considerable quantities. The catch trend, after two peaks in 1967 (598,800 t) and 1979 (462,039 t) and consequent decreasing, in the last 10 years have been steadily increasing, reaching a maximum in 1996 with a total catch of 681 999 t. Nevertheless, this constitutes the largest catch recorded at present for a single hake species. Almost 90% of these catches have been taken by Argentina. Most common fishing techniques are "demersal bottom trawling" and "Hake trawling". The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 372 039 t. The countries with the largest catches were Argentina (311 953 t) and Uruguay (32 045 t).
    Marketed fresh (Argentina, Uruguay) and frozen by foreign distant-water trawlers; also exported for filets and fish blocks to USA.
    Local Names
    ARGENTINA : Merluza .
    CHILE : Merluza austral ,  Pescada de la Patagonia .
    URUGUAY : Merluza .
    Source of Information
    FAO species catalogue. Vol.10. Gadiform Fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Cods, Hakes, Grenadiers and other Gadiform Fishes Known to Date.Daniel M.Cohen Tadashi Inada Tomio Iwamoto Nadia Scialabba 1990.  FAO Fisheries Synopsis. No. 125, Vol.10. Rome, FAO. 1990. 442p.
    Boerema, (1977)
    FAO, (1983)
    Hart, (1946)
    Inada, (1981a)
    Zinkevich & Sauskan, (1968)
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