A method for evaluating the impacts of fishing mortality and stochastic influences on the demography of two long-live shark stocks
McAuley, Rory B., Simpfendorfer, Colin A., and Hall, Norm G. (2007) A method for evaluating the impacts of fishing mortality and stochastic influences on the demography of two long-live shark stocks. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64 (9). pp. 1710-1722.
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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsm146
Stochastic demographic models were developed for Carcharhinus obscurus and C. plumbeus populations off the west coast of Australia by resampling the input parameters for life tables from empirical biological data collected from commercial target fisheries and fishery-independent surveys. The models were used to examine the effects of multiple scenarios of age-specific survival, derived from the fishing mortality rates estimated from a tagging study on sharks and indirect estimates of natural mortality. In the absence of fishing, median estimates of the rates of intrinsic population increase (r) were 0.025 for both species. Inclusion of the age-specific fishing mortality rates estimated for C. obscurus recruits born in 1994 and 1995 resulted in the median estimates of r declining to 0.007 and 0.012, respectively,suggesting that recent harvest levels of mainly neonates by the target fishery were probably sustainable. However, the model also suggested that the population was more susceptible to exploitation of older sharks than was previously believed. The C. plumbeus model indicated that fishing mortality between 2001 and 2004 was probably unsustainable. The increasingly negative trend in median r estimates (from –0.032 to –0.049), and the population’s apparently limited capacity for density-dependent compensation through changes in fecundity, somatic growth and longevity, suggests that management intervention is necessary to prevent continued stock depletion.
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