Distribution and trend in abundance of the porbeagle in the southern hemisphere

paperPublished online on 24. April 2013

Distribution and trend in abundance of the porbeagle (Lamna nasus) in the southern hemisphere

Yasuko Semba, Kotaro Yokawa, Hiroaki Matsunaga and Hiroshi Shono


Knowledge of a species’ distribution is an important element in its effective management and conservation. The porbeagle (Lamna nasus) is a common by-catch shark in the tuna longline fishery in the southern hemisphere, but its distribution and abundance are largely unknown. The investigation of observer data from the tuna longline fishery and other fishery survey data has revealed that (1) porbeagles are distributed in the pelagic waters across the oceans of the southern hemisphere, (2) juveniles and adults are distributed in cooler environments than are neonates, (3) pregnant females occur in the pelagic waters of the Indian Ocean and the Tasman Sea, most being frequently recorded around the Cape of Good Hope between June and July and (4) the standardised catch per unit effort (CPUE) based on tuna longline fishery (1994–2011) and driftnet survey (1982–1990) data indicate no continuous decreasing trend in the abundance of the southern porbeagle, contrary to the declining trend reported in a limited region in the South Atlantic. Considering its circumglobal distribution, stock status of this population should be assessed using information from the areas of its major distribution, including pelagic waters, and international coordination across oceans is necessary for the effective management of this population.

Marine and Freshwater Research, Online Early Version.



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