Shark longline survey in the eastern Bahamas, 1979 – 2013

Published on
10. July 2020

Results of a fishery-independent longline survey targeting coastal sharks in the eastern Bahamas between 1979 and 2013

Brendan S. Talwar, Jeffrey A. Stein, Stephen M.H. Connett, Stephanie A. Liss, Edward J. Brooks


Long-term trends in shark abundance offer important insights for fisheries management. Few fisheries-independent, extended time-series data exist for coastal shark species in the northwest Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean outside of the United States. A decades old dataset comprised of standardized longline surveys provided us with the opportunity to characterize diversity and evaluate changes in the relative abundance of sharks in the eastern Bahamas between 1979–1990 and 2011–2013. Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi and tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier were the two most commonly captured species throughout the survey and were the only two species analyzed in detail. For both species, sex ratios favored females. Using Bayesian generalized linear models, we found that Caribbean reef shark catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) exhibited a positive relationship with year and temperature, while size exhibited no relationship with year and a negative relationship with temperature. There was no relationship between tiger shark CPUE and year but there was a positive relationship between size and year. These results are presented in the context of Bahamian shark conservation efforts and the results of other surveys in the region.

Fisheries Research, Volume 230, October 2020, DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2020.105683


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