Mortality rate of silky sharks caught in the tropical tuna purse seine fishery in the Indian Ocean

paper8Published online on 27. March 2014

Mortality rate of silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) caught in the tropical tuna purse seine fishery in the Indian Ocean

Fran├žois Poisson, John-David Filmalter, Anne-Lise Vernet, Dagorn Laurent

ABSTRACT:

Scientists on-board French purse seine vessels recorded the number and condition of silky sharks caught during three fishing cruises in the Indian Ocean. A sample of 31 individuals that showed signs of life were tagged with satellite tags to investigate their post-release mortality. The majority of individuals (95%) were brought on-board using the brailer. Combining the proportion of sharks that were dead (72%) and the mortality rate of those released (48%), the overall mortality rate of brailed individuals was 85%. Few individuals (5%) were not brailed as they were entangled and landed during the hauling process. The survival rate of these individuals was high, with an overall mortality rate of meshed individuals of 18%. The combination of these two categories led to an overall mortality rate of 81%. This high value reflects the harsh conditions encountered by sharks during the purse seine fishing process. Consequently, methods that prevent sharks being brought on-board are a priority for future investigations, but good handling practices should also be promoted as they could reduce mortality by at least 19%.

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0561

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