Biology of angel sharks and sawsharks caught in south-eastern Australian trawl fisheries and the NSW shark-meshing program

paper3Published online on 24. March 2016

Biology of angel sharks (Squatina sp.) and sawsharks (Pristiophorus sp.) caught in south-eastern Australian trawl fisheries and the New South Wales shark-meshing (bather-protection) program

V. Raoult, V. Peddemors, J. E. Williamson


Two species of angel shark (Squatina australis, S. albipunctata) and two species of sawshark (Pristiophorus nudipinnis, P. cirratus) are frequently caught in south-eastern Australia. Little is known of the biology of these elasmobranchs, despite being caught as secondary target species in large numbers. The present study collected morphometric and reproductive data from sharks caught in shark-control nets, commercial fishing trawlers and research trawlers in south-eastern Australia. All four species had female-biased sexual size dimorphism, but growth curves between sexes did not differ. Male S. australis individuals were fully mature at ~800-mm total length, male P. nudipinnis at ~900 mm, and male P. cirratus at ~800 mm. Anterior pectoral margins could be used to determine total length in all species. No morphometric measurement could reliably separate Squatina spp. or Pristiophorus spp., although S. albipunctata over 1000-mm total length had larger eyes than did S. australis.

Marine and Freshwater Research, doi: 10.1071/MF15369



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