Life history characteristics of the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis from the central west Pacific

Grant, Michael I., Smart, Jonathan J., White, William T., Chin, Andrew, Baje, Leontine, and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2018) Life history characteristics of the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis from the central west Pacific. Marine and Freshwater Research, 69 (4). pp. 562-573.

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Abstract

In the central west Pacific region, silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) are commonly taken in fisheries, forming up to 95% of incidental elasmobranch bycatch. The present study examined the life history of silky sharks (n = 553) from Papua New Guinean waters. Age was analysed using sectioned vertebrae, and a multimodel approach was applied to the length-at-age data to fit growth models. Females ranged in length from 65.0- to 253.0-cm total length (TL), with the oldest estimated at 28 years. Males ranged in length from 68.4 to 271.3 cm TL and were aged to a maximum of 23 years. The logistic model provided the best fitting growth parameter estimates of length at birth L0 = 82.7 cm TL, growth coefficient g = 0.14 year–1 and asymptotic length L∞ = 261.3 cm TL for the sexes combined. Females reached sexual maturity at 204 cm TL and 14.0 years, whereas males reached maturity at 183 cm TL and 11.6 years. The average litter size from 28 pregnant females was 8 (range of 3–13). The growth parameters and late ages of sexual maturation for silky sharks in the central west Pacific suggest a significant risk from fisheries exploitation without careful population management.

Item ID: 48280
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: intrapecific variation; logistic growth function; pelagic shark fisheries; vertebral ageing
Funders: National Fisheries Authority (NFA), CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Projects and Grants: ACIAR project FIS/2012/102
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 05:18
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 80%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 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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