Reproductive biology of two pelagic sharks in the eastern Atlantic Ocean

Published on
06. September 2020

Aspects of the reproductive biology of two pelagic sharks in the eastern Atlantic Ocean

Feng Wu, Richard Kindong, Xiaojie Dai, Ousmane Sarr, Jiangfeng Zhu, Siquan Tian, Yunkai Li, Bruno T. N. Nsangue


This study used data provided by the Chinese Longline Fishery Scientific Observer Programme from the tropical eastern Atlantic Ocean to estimate the reproductive parameters of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) and crocodile shark (Pseudocarcharias kamoharai). Sizes ranged from 80 to 298 cm fork length (FL) for blue sharks and from 48 to 99 cm FL for crocodile sharks. Sexual segregation was observed during different months for both sharks. The sex ratio for blue sharks was 1.38 F:1 M, and 1 F:2.79 M for crocodile sharks. The size of adult blue sharks ranged from 144 to 280 cm for males and from 174 to 298 cm for females; and that of crocodile sharks from 63 to 97 cm for males and 78–99 cm for females. The size at 50% of maturity for blue sharks was estimated at 191.7 cm FL for females and 197.5 cm FL for males, and that of crocodile sharks was assessed at 84.9 cm FL for females and 78.5 cm FL for males. Most sexually matured females were pregnant; their means were 207.2 ± 16.4 cm FL for blue sharks and 89.4 ± 4.3 cm FL for crocodile sharks. Mature sizes for both species were significantly different among months. Embryonic sizes also varied widely among months for crocodile sharks, but a slight change was recorded for those of blue sharks. The observed mean size at birth and litter size were 34.5 cm FL and 37 ± 12 for the blue sharks, and that of the crocodile sharks, 39.5 cm FL and a dominant four embryos in the uterus. Due to the observed increasing catch trend of blue sharks and the slow reproductive cycle of crocodile sharks, this study presents the need of implementing conservation measures to ensure the sustainability of both species in their habitat.

Journal of Fish Biology, Early View, DOI: 10.1111/jfb.14526


Leave a Reply