Age, growth and maturity of the Australian blackspot shark (Carcharhinus coatesi) in the Gulf of Papua

Baje, Leontine, Smart, Jonathan J., Grant, Michael I., Chin, Andrew, White, William T., and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2019) Age, growth and maturity of the Australian blackspot shark (Carcharhinus coatesi) in the Gulf of Papua. Pacific Conservation Biology. (In Press)

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Abstract

Small-bodied coastal sharks are often caught as by-catch in fishing operations. Life-history information for these sharks is needed to ascertain the level at which these populations are potentially affected by fishing. This study determined the age, growth and maturity of Carcharhinus coatesi captured by prawn trawlers in the Gulf of Papua. Using vertebral aging and an information-theoretic multimodel approach, the von Bertalanffy growth model fit the data best; parameters were L0 = 40.6 cm ± 0.8, L∞ = 74.8 cm ± 2.1, k = 0.33 year−1 ± 0.06. Length-at-maturity analysis indicated that males reach maturity at L50 = 66.3 cm (CI: 63.8, 71.4) and L95 = 71.6 (CI: 64.6, 74.2) cm while females matured at L50 = 71.4 cm (CI: 61.5, 72.01) and L95 = 72.5 cm (CI: 62.7, 74.0). Age-at-maturity estimates showed that both males (A50 = 5.1 years (CI: 4.6, 7.1), A95 = 6.4 years (CI: 5.1, 7.2)) and females (A50 = 5.3 years (CI: 3.5, 8.7), A95 = 7.4 years (CI: 3.6, 8.8)) reach maturity at about the same age. This study addresses the need for specific life-history information for a data-deficient species in a region that has remained relatively under-researched but in need of ongoing improvements to fisheries management.

Item ID: 58403
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2204-4604
Keywords: shark, fishery, fisheries, conservation, Pacific, Papua New Guinea
Funders: National Fisheries Authority Papua New Guinea, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Projects and Grants: ACIAR project FIS/2012/102
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 01:39
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060809 Vertebrate Biology @ 60%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 40%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
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