Age, growth and reproductive biology of the spot-tail shark, Carcharhinus sorrah, and the Australian blacktip shark,C. tilstoni, from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, north-eastern Australia

Harry, Alastair V., Tobin, Andrew J., and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2013) Age, growth and reproductive biology of the spot-tail shark, Carcharhinus sorrah, and the Australian blacktip shark,C. tilstoni, from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, north-eastern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 64 (4). pp. 277-293.

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Abstract

Understanding the life history of an exploited fish species is an integral part of successful fisheries management and this information can be used in quantitative population assessments. The present study describes the quantitative relationships among age, growth and reproductive biology of two commercially exploited sharks from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA), namely, the spot-tail shark, Carcharhinus sorrah (n = 659) and the Australian blacktip shark, C. tilstoni (n = 512). Longevity estimates based on vertebral ageing were 9 and 14 years for male and female C. sorrah and 13 and 15 years for C. tilstoni. However, an age-validation study failed to validate annual banding in larger individuals, suggesting that maximum age may be underestimated by vertebrae. C. sorrah grew to adult size relatively fast, reaching maturity at 2.3–2.4 years, whereas C. tilstoni grew slower, reaching maturity at 5.2–6.1 years. For both species, however, reproduction did not commence until approximately a year after maturity, at 3.4 years for C. sorrah and 7.2 years for C. tilstoni. The results of the present study suggest that in the GBRWHA, C. tilstoni, in particular, begins reproducing at an older age and lives longer than previously thought.

Item ID: 26880
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: shark fishery, Carcharhinidae, chondrichthyan
Funders: Australian Commonwealth Government Marine and Tropical Scientific Research Facility (MTSRF), Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
Projects and Grants: Project 4.8.4, 2007/035
Date Deposited: 13 May 2013 06:29
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070499 Fisheries Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 80%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 20%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 100%
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