MEPS 402:1-11 (2010)  -  doi:10.3354/meps08498

FEATURE ARTICLE
Sharks in nearshore environments: models, importance, and consequences

Danielle M. Knip1,*, Michelle R. Heupel2, Colin A. Simpfendorfer1

1Fishing and Fisheries Research Centre, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, 4811, Australia
2School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, 4811, Australia

ABSTRACT: Theoretical models of coastal shark populations have remained largely unchanged since the 1960s despite limitations in applicability to many species. Smaller bodied coastal species are poorly represented by the current models. A new theoretical model is proposed to represent those species that spend most or all of their life within nearshore waters but do not show use of discrete nursery areas. Description of this new model outlines the importance of nearshore areas to these smaller species. While all coastal shark populations are susceptible to environmental and anthropogenic impacts, species that fit the new model are more vulnerable to varying coastal processes, habitat degradation, and fishing pressure than are species that use nearshore areas for only part of their life-span. The dynamic nature of nearshore areas and their proximity to human populations present all sharks that occur in them with a range of advantages and disadvantages. This paper reviews how different species utilise nearshore areas and how they overcome the challenges they face in inhabiting these areas. Improving and expanding theoretical models of coastal shark populations will provide a better understanding of how sharks use nearshore environments and assist in making conservation and management decisions for these regions.


KEY WORDS: Nearshore · Shark · Population model · Habitat use · Distribution · Springer


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Cite this article as: Knip DM, Heupel MR, Simpfendorfer CA (2010) Sharks in nearshore environments: models, importance, and consequences. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 402:1-11

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