Characterization of large basking shark aggregations in the western North Atlantic Ocean

Published on 07. March 2018

Characterization of large basking shark Cetorhinus maximus aggregations in the western North Atlantic Ocean

L. M. Crowe, O. O’brien, T. H. Curtis, S. M. Leiter, R. D. Kenney, P. Duley, S. D. Kraus


Cetorhinus maximus aggregations recorded during extensive aerial survey efforts off the north‐eastern United States between 1980 and 2013 included aggregations centring on sightings with group sizes of at least 30 individuals. These aggregations occurred in summer and autumn months and included aggregation sizes of up to 1398 individuals, the largest aggregation ever reported for this species. The aggregations were associated with sea surface temperatures of 13–24° C and chlorophyll‐a concentrations of 0·4–2·6 mg m−3 and during one aggregation, a high abundance of zooplankton prey was present. Photogrammetric tools allowed for the estimation of total body lengths ranging between 4 and 8 m. Characterization of these events provides new insight into the potential biological function of large aggregations in this species.

J Fish Biol. 2018 Mar 7. doi: 10.1111/jfb.13592



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