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 journalArticle

28 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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