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Population Biology of Pacific Oceanic Sharks

Progress Reports (PDF): FY 2001, FY 2000

Project Overview
Concerns about the status of shark populations are becoming an important issue in the management of the Hawaii-based longline fishery. Sharks are important and valuable catches in both foreign and U.S. longline fisheries targeting tunas and billfishes. The practice of finning sharks has also increased in recent years. In general, conservation organizations are seeking to ban shark finning and commercial shark harvests while commercial fisheries will resist these efforts. The need for a better understanding of the population biology of oceanic sharks is necessary before management decisions can be made. Stock assessments are required for all oceanic shark species under the U.S. Pelagic Fishery Management Plan for the central and western Pacific.

The objectives of this project are to address important information gaps regarding oceanic shark species (oceanic white-tip, blue shark, short-fin mako, thresher). Researchers on this project will review current literature and consult with other shark researchers to identify gaps in knowledge of life history and ecology of oceanic sharks impacted by North Pacific longline fisheries. The project P.I. will analyze shark biological samples and also share samples with other shark researchers. The project P.I. will obtain more information on: age and growth, reproduction and maturation, distribution and migration, and trophic relationships. Analysis of shark fins will be conducted to estimate sizes of sharks caught. P.I. will analyze effects of longline gear (hook depth, soak time) for application to catch-per-unit-effort analysis. Measurements of swimming depth, geographic movements and mortality rates of sharks will be obtained through the application of pop-up satellite transmitting archival tags (PSTATs).

Funding for this project awarded in October 1999.

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Christofer Boggs
National Marine Fisheries Service
Honolulu Laboratory
2570 Dole Street, Room 212
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Phone (808) 983-5370
FAX (808) 983-2902
email: cboggs@honlab.nmfs.hawaii.edu


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This page updated August 14, 2006