Oceanic whitetip sharks caught by the Brazilian tuna longline fleet
Size, distribution and catch rates of the oceanic whitetip shark caught by the Brazilian tuna longline fleet
Mariana Travassos Tolotti, Paulo Travassos, Flávia Lucena Frédou, Catarina Wor, Fábio Hazin
Catch and effort data from 14,835 longline sets conducted by foreign tuna longline vessels chartered by Brazil, from 2004 to 2010, were analyzed aiming at assessing the size, distribution and the relative abundance of the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) in the southwestern and equatorial Atlantic Ocean. The nominal catch per unit of effort (CPUE) exhibited a gradual increase, from 0.04 sharks/1000 hooks, in 2004, the first year of the time series, up to 0.13, in 2007. In 2008, however, the CPUE increased sharply, reaching 0.43, dropping, then, back to 0.15, in 2010. A CPUE standardization was performed using a delta-GLM approach, but the standardized index of abundance did not differ significantly from the nominal CPUE. The models indicated that the catches of oceanic whitetip sharks are higher for the Spanish fishing strategy, which is characterized by the deployment of hooks at shallower depths. These results indicate that the use of deep longline hooks (>100 m) may help to mitigate the bycatch of this species.
Fisheries Research, Volume 143, In Progress, June 2013