Distribution patterns and population structure of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
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KeywordsAtlantic ocean, fishery observ programmes, Indian Ocean, pelagic fisheries, size distribution, spatial distribution
The blue shark (Prionace glauca) is the most frequently captured shark in pelagic oceanic fisheries, especially pelagic longlines targeting swordfish and/or tunas. As part of cooperative scientific efforts for fisheries and biological data collection, information from fishery observers, scientific projects and surveys, and from recreational fisheries from several nations in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans was compiled. Data sets included information on location, size and sex, in a total of 478,220 blue shark records collected between 1966 and 2014. Sizes ranged from 36 to 394 cm fork length. Considerable variability was observed in the size distribution by region and season in both oceans. Larger blue sharks tend to occur in equatorial and tropical regions, and smaller specimens in higher latitudes in temperate waters. Differences in sex ratios were also detected spatially and seasonally. Nursery areas in the Atlantic seem to occur in the temperate south-east off South Africa ...
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