Population genetics reveals global and regional history of the tiger shark

Published on
21. January 2021

Population genetics reveals global and regional history of the apex predator Galeocerdo cuvier (carcharhiniformes) with comments on mitigating shark attacks in north‐eastern brazil

Flávia R.S. Andrade, André S. Afonso, Fábio H.V. Hazin, Fernando F. Mendonça, Rodrigo A. Torres


The knowledge of the population structure of a given species is of great importance for its conservation and for the management of its fishing exploitation, especially for sharks. The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier Péron&Lesueur, 1822) is an apex predator species that is currently listed as “Near Threatened” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. In this study, the tiger shark’s genetic structure in the Metropolitan Region of Recife (MRR) and oceanic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha (FN) was investigated based on one mitochondrial and two nuclear DNA markers. In addition, sequenced data from other geographic sites were added into the mitochondrial analysis. The data showed moderate‐to‐high genetic diversity, and it is consistent with good resilience of G. cuvier in ecological terms. The structuring tests reinforced a global distinction of the species in two lineages, one being from the Indo‐Pacific and the other from the North Atlantic. Also, this analysis showed the close relationship between tiger sharks from Indo‐Pacific and South‐eastern coast of Brazil. The Bayesian and AMOVA tests indicated that tiger sharks from FN and MRR are genetically similar, forming a cohesive population. These analyses support live specimen translocations from beaches (where the attacks occur) to distant marine areas given we detected a historical cohesive population occurring between those beaches from MRR and FN Islands where the sharks migrate. This research is the first that has validated individual translocations as a green strategy in South‐western Atlantic.

Marine Ecology, Early View, DOI: 10.1111/maec.12640


Leave a Reply