MEPS 577:251-255 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12283

COMMENT
Pessimistic assessment of white shark population status in South Africa: Comment on Andreotti et al. (2016)

Dylan T. Irion1,*, Leslie R. Noble2, Alison A. Kock3,4, Enrico Gennari1,4, Matt L. Dicken5,6, Adrian M. Hewitt7, Alison V. Towner8,9, Anthony J. Booth8, Malcolm J. Smale10, Geremy Cliff5,11

1Oceans Research, PO Box 1767, Mossel Bay 6500, South Africa
2Institute of Biological & Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK
3Human Wildlife Institute, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
4South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
5KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Private Bag 2, Umhlanga Rocks 4320, South Africa
6Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
7Bransholme, Hull, HU7 4QB, UK
8Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
9Dyer Island Conservation Trust, PO Box 78, Keinbaai 7220, South Africa
10Department of Zoology, Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa
11Biomedical Resource Unit, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4000, South Africa
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Andreotti et al. (2016; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 552:241-253) estimate an abundance (N) of 438 white sharks Carcharodon carcharias and a contemporary effective population size (CNe) of 333 individuals along the South African coast. N was estimated by using a mark-recapture analysis of photographic identification records from a single aggregation site (Gansbaai). CNe was calculated based on the levels of pairwise linkage disequilibrium of genetic material collected from 4 aggregation sites across approximately 965 km of South African coastline. However, due to the complex stock structure of white sharks and the model assumptions made by Andreotti et al. (2016), the conclusions drawn cannot be supported by their methods and data.


KEY WORDS:  White shark · Carcharodon carcharias · Abundance · Contemporary effective population size · Mark-recapture · POPAN · Linkage disequilibrium


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Cite this article as: Irion DT, Noble LR, Kock AA, Gennari E and others (2017) Pessimistic assessment of white shark population status in South Africa: Comment on Andreotti et al. (2016). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 577:251-255. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12283

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