4 years ago

Impact of biology knowledge on the conservation and management of large pelagic sharks

Kotaro Yokawa, Hiroki Yokoi, Seiji Ohshimo, Hirotaka Ijima
Population growth rate, which depends on several biological parameters, is valuable information for the conservation and management of pelagic sharks, such as blue and shortfin mako sharks. However, reported biological parameters for estimating the population growth rates of these sharks differ by sex and display large variability. To estimate the appropriate population growth rate and clarify relationships between growth rate and relevant biological parameters, we developed a two-sex age-structured matrix population model and estimated the population growth rate using combinations of biological parameters. We addressed elasticity analysis and clarified the population growth rate sensitivity. For the blue shark, the estimated median population growth rate was 0.384 with a range of minimum and maximum values of 0.195–0.533, whereas those values of the shortfin mako shark were 0.102 and 0.007–0.318, respectively. The maturity age of male sharks had the largest impact for blue sharks, whereas that of female sharks had the largest impact for shortfin mako sharks. Hypotheses for the survival process of sharks also had a large impact on the population growth rate estimation. Both shark maturity age and survival rate were based on ageing validation data, indicating the importance of validating the quality of these data for the conservation and management of large pelagic sharks.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-09427-3

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-09427-3

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