The occurrence of newly settled postlarvae (<500 μm of shell length [SL]) and subsequent growth and survival of the abalone, Haliotis diversicolor, were observed from 2001–2004 at two stations in the rocky shore of Nagai on the coast of Sagami Bay, Japan. Seawater temperature, current velocity, and distance of the weekly stone movement were monitored at both stations to determine factors affecting survival and growth of postlarvae. There were newly settled postlarvae in August and September of 2001, October 2002, August 2003, and September 2004. A total of 6 cohorts were identified between 2001 and 2004. Initial density of each cohort was generally higher at Station 1 than Station 2, but recruits at Station 1 had greater mortality than Station 2. Results from measurements of the physical environmental factors suggested that higher mortality rate of postlarval and juvenile H. diversicolor at Station 1 were produced by greater water turbulence and stone movement caused by storms. Growth rates in the first month after settlement varied between cohorts (35–62 μm SL day−1), and growth rates were slower for cohorts settling later in the spawning season and experiencing lower water temperature. The timing of typhoon-triggered spawning in H. diversicolor population was also suggested to be an important factor affecting growth and survival of postlarvae and early juveniles, along with their subsequent recruitment. The cohorts from 2001–2004 attained 17–40 mm SL in about one year after settlement. To estimate the size and age at the first stage of maturation, the increase in shell length and gonad development of a single cohort from 2001 were measured. This cohort attained 30–55 mm SL and showed high gonad index at 22 mo after settlement, indicating the first stage of maturation of H. diversicolor is achieved at age 2.
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Vol. 27 • No. 4