Population structure, spatial distribution and life-history traits of blacktip reef sharks Carcharhinus melanopterus

J. Mourier*, S. C. Mills, S. Planes

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    During a survey of the population of blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus in Moorea (French Polynesia) between 2007 and 2011, population structural characteristics were estimated from 268 individuals. Total length (LT) ranged from 48 to 139cm and 48 to 157cm for males and females, respectively, demonstrating that the average LT of females was larger than that of males. The C. melanopterus population at Moorea showed an apparent spatial sexual segregation with females preferentially frequenting lagoons and males the fore-reefs. Mean growth rate was c. 6cmyear-1. Males reached sexual maturity at 111cm LT. This study reports on the population characteristics of this widespread carcharhinid shark species and makes comparisons with other locations, confirming high geographic variability in the population structure of the species. Journal of Fish Biology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)979-993
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Fish Biology
    Volume82
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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