Length–weight relations of 46 uncommon sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea

Published on
09. September 2021

Filling in knowledge gaps: Length–weight relations of 46 uncommon sharks and rays (Elasmobranchii) in the Mediterranean Sea

Athanassios C. Tsikliras, Donna Dimarchopoulou


Large sharks and rays are generally understudied in the Mediterranean Sea, thus leading to a knowledge gap of basic biological characteristics that are important in fisheries management and ecosystem modeling. Out of the 76 sharks and rays inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea, the length–weight relations (LWR) are available for 28 (37%) of them, usually for common small-sized species that are not protected and may be marketed. The aim of the presently reported study was to fill in the knowledge gap through the estimation of LWR of rare and uncommon sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea using the information from single records or few individuals. The analysis was based on a Bayesian hierarchical method for estimating length–weight relations in fishes that has been recently proposed for data-deficient species or museum collections and uses the prior knowledge and existing LWR studies to derive species-specific LWR parameters by body form. The use of this method was applied to single records of rare and uncommon species and here we report the LWR of 46 uncommon sharks and ray species, 14 of which are first reported LWR at a global scale and 21 are the first reported LWR for the Mediterranean Sea; the remaining 11 species are first time records for the western or eastern Mediterranean regions. Museum collections and sporadic catch records of rare emblematic species may provide useful biological information with the use of appropriate Bayesian methods.

Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 51(3), 2021, 249–255, DOI: 10.3897/aiep.51.65858


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