Artisanal elasmobranch fisheries of northwestern Baja California

Published on
24. March 2020

Artisanal elasmobranch fisheries of northwestern Baja California, Mexico

Omar Santana-Morales, Daniel Cartamil, Oscar Sosa-Nishizaki, Rebeca Zertuche-Chanes, Enrique Hernández-Gutiérrez, Jeffrey Graham


Elasmobranch species composition and spatiotemporal variability can often be characterized from landing surveys of local fisheries, with important management implications. In the present study, we describe the elasmobranch landing composition of 4 major artisanal fishing ports in northwestern Baja California, Mexico. Sampling was conducted opportunistically between 1995 and 2010 and included an effort of 684 fishing days. Species composition was gear-dependent and varied with the fishing area, with thresher sharks (Alopias vulpinus) and spiny dogfish (Squalus suckleyi) dominating the catches landed by coastal gill net fisheries, and blue sharks (Prionace glauca) and shortfin mako sharks (Isurus oxyrhinchus) dominating the catches landed by the offshore longline fishery. Size-structure analysis indicated that catches were composed primarily of juveniles for most species, although the catch of mature soupfin sharks (Galeorhinus galeus) increased in longline fisheries during the winter. The results indicate that minor regional differences in elasmobranch species composition occur along the Pacific coast of Baja California and are most likely related to regional oceanographic or habitat differences. The results of this study may form the basis for future efforts to monitor species composition changes over time, to more completely assess elasmobranch populations.

Ciencias Marinas (2020), 46(1):1–18, DOI 10.7773/cm.v46i1.3023


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