Near-infrared spectroscopy for shark ageing and biology

Rigby, Cassandra L., Foley, William J., and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2018) Near-infrared spectroscopy for shark ageing and biology. In: Carrier, Jeffrey C., Heithaus, Michael R., and Simpfendorfer, Colin A., (eds.) Shark Research: emerging technologies and applications for the field and laboratory. Marine Biology Series . CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA, pp. 201-217.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Accurate and reliable age estimates of sharks are important for informing management that will achieve sustainable outcomes for populations. Age is the foundation of many of the essential parameters, such as growth rate and productivity, that are used in demographic analyses and fisheries assessments (Cailliet et al., 2006; Campana, 2001). Here, "sharks" is used as a general term to refer to sharks, rays, and chimaeras, therwise known as chondrichthyans. Traditionally, to estimate age in sharks, growth bands are counted in their hard parts. Vertebrae or dorsal fin spines are primarily used, although caudal thorns have also been found suitable for ageing in a few species of skates (Cailliet, 2015; Goldman et al., 2012; Serra-Pereira et al., 2008). As sharks age, calcified material accumulates in these structures and can produce visible band pairs that, when formation periodicity has been validated, enable age determination (Goldman et al., 2012; see also Chapter 10 in this volume).

Counting these band pairs requires experience and time to achieve consistent results, and repeated reads are necessary to ensure precision of the counts (Cailliet et al., 2006). It also can require time-consuming preparation, such as sectioning of the structures and enhancement with stains to improve clarity and readability of the band pairs (Irvine et al., 2006b; Matta et al., 2017). In addition, this approach normally requires the lethal removal of the structures used for ageing from an individual. Given the vulnerability of many shark species to exploitation (Dulvy et al., 2014), nonlethal methods for ageing would be beneficial. These issues prompted investigation of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a complementary approach to shark ageing. Although NIRS requires traditional band counts of some age structures, it can greatly reduce the time taken to estimate age from a structure and has the potential to be nonlethal (Rigby et al., 2014, 2016b). This chapter reviews how NIRS works and the application and considerations for use of NIRS in shark ageing.

Item ID: 55729
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-1380-3292-7
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 00:57
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page