Population structure, spatial distribution and life-history traits of blacktip reef sharksPublished online on 08. February 2013
Population structure, spatial distribution and life-history traits of blacktip reef sharks Carcharhinus melanopterus
J. Mourier, S. C. Mills, S. Planes
During a survey of the population of blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus in Moorea (French Polynesia) between 2007 and 2011, population structural characteristics were estimated from 268 individuals. Total length (LT) ranged from 48 to 139 cm and 48 to 157 cm for males and females, respectively, demonstrating that the average LT of females was larger than that of males. The C. melanopterus population at Moorea showed an apparent spatial sexual segregation with females preferentially frequenting lagoons and males the fore-reefs. Mean growth rate was c. 6 cm year−1. Males reached sexual maturity at 111 cm LT. This study reports on the population characteristics of this widespread carcharhinid shark species and makes comparisons with other locations, confirming high geographic variability in the population structure of the species.
Journal of Fish Biology. Early View Version. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12039