Validated age, growth and reproductive biology of Carcharhinus melanopterus, a widely distributed and exploited reef shark

Chin, Andrew, Simpfendorfer, Colin, Tobin, Andrew, and Heupel, Michelle (2013) Validated age, growth and reproductive biology of Carcharhinus melanopterus, a widely distributed and exploited reef shark. Marine and Freshwater Research, 64 (10). pp. 965-975.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13017
 
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Abstract

Inadequate life-history information can compromise management of shark populations. The present study examined the life history of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) from north-eastern Australia with predictions that they would show life-history patterns similar to those of other reef sharks species. Age and growth estimates were derived from vertebrae and five growth models. Males were 543–1390 mm total length (LST) and females were 514–1600 mm LST. Longevity was 10 years (males) and 15 years (females). Chemical marking confirmed annual band pair deposition but indicated probable age underestimation of large individuals. The logistic model was preferred (second-order Akaike information criterion (AICc) weight 0.7536), with growth parameter estimates of length at birth (L0) = 617 mm LST; asymptotic length (L∞) = 1585 mm LST; k (from logistic model) = 0.251 year⁻¹. Males matured at 4.2 years (1050 mm LST) and females at 8.5 years (1335 mm LST), although further verification is needed. Mating and parturition occurred in summer and autumn, females having three or four pups per litter. Data were inconclusive in determining reproductive periodicity. These data contribute to the species management and conservation and suggest that the species may be sensitive to fishing pressure and habitat loss. The study also demonstrated potential complications in using vertebrae to estimate age and growth of chondrichthyan fishes.

Item ID: 29221
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: blacktip reef shark; fisheries; age and growth; Great Barrier Reef; reproduction; vulnerability; age validation; calcein; life history
Funders: Marine and Tropical Science Research Facility (MTSRF), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2013 23:23
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060809 Vertebrate Biology @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 65%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 35%
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