MEPS 184:309-314 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/meps184309

Feeding of captive, tropical carcharhinid sharks from the Embley River estuary, northern Australia

J. P. Salini1,*, M. Tonks2, S. J. M. Blaber1, J. Ross3

1CSIRO Division of Marine Research, PO Box 120, Cleveland, Queensland 4163, Australia
2Southern Fisheries Centre, QDPI, Deception Bay, Queensland 4508, Australia
3Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane 4000, Australia

ABSTRACT: Twenty carcharhinid sharks of 3 species were fed pilchards at different frequencies to examine feeding-growth relationships. These results are among the first in Australia on food intake and growth of wild-caught juvenile and sub-adult carcharhinids held in captivity. Mean consumption rates (±SE) for all feeding rations were 2.91% (±0.28) body weight per day (BWD) for Carcharhinus dussumieri, 3.44% (±0.40) BWD for C. tilstoni and 3.35% (±0.34) BWD for Negaprion acutidens. N. acutidens had the highest consumption rate of 5.02% BWD at 2 feeds d-1. Highest mean growth rates were 0.78% (±0.11) BWD for C. dussumieri, 1.34% BWD (±0.54) for C. tilstoni and 1.12% (n = 1) BWD for N. acutidens. Maintenance ration estimates were 1.29% BWD for C. dussumieri, 1.31% BWD for N. acutidens, and 2.06% BWD for C. tilstoni. These are similar to literature estimates. High consumption rates did not always translate directly to high growth rates.

KEY WORDS: Sharks · Consumption · Growth · Feeding · Carcharhinus · Negaprion

Full text in pdf format