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ESR 45:237-249 (2021)  -  DOI:

Age, growth and demography of the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis from the southwestern Atlantic

Jones Santander-Neto1,*, Rodrigo Barreto2, Francisco M. Santana3, Rosangela P. T. Lessa4

1Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Espírito Santo (Ifes), Campus Piúma, Laboratório de Dinâmica de Populações Marinhas do Espírito Santo, CEP 29285-000, Piúma - ES, Brazil
2Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação da Biodiversidade Marinha do Sudeste e Sul do Brasil (ICMBio-CEPSUL), CEP 88301-445, Itajaí - SC, Brazil
3Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Unidade Acadêmica de Serra Talhada (UAST), Laboratório de Dinâmica de Populações Aquáticas (DAQUA), CEP56909-535, Serra Talhada - PE, Brazil
4Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Departamento de Pesca e Aqüicultura (DEPAq), Laboratório de Dinâmica de Populações Marinhas (DIMAR), CEP 52171-900, Recife - PE, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis is considered one of the least productive pelagic shark species. The estimation of growth and demographic parameters presented here is fundamental to a sound knowledge of population status of the species in the Atlantic Ocean. Data was collected through an onboard observer program of the Brazilian chartered pelagic longline fishing fleet that operates in the Equatorial Southwestern Atlantic. Vertebral analysis produced the von Bertalanffy growth parameters for pooled sexes L = 283.05 cm; k = 0.0987 yr-1 and t0 = -3.47 yr. Males reached sexual maturity at 8.6 yr and females at 9.9 yr. Longevity was estimated at 27.2 yr. Age structure analysis indicated that 80.5% of the catch was composed of juveniles, with recruitment to the fishery from the first year of life (age 1+). These biological parameters are responsible for the species’ low resistance to fishing pressure, and our demographic analysis (Leslie Matrix) shows an annual population decline of 12.7% yr-1 under the current fishing scenario for the period analyzed. Therefore, conservation measures must be enacted to reestablish the population of silky sharks to safe levels for the maintenance of this species in the South Atlantic.

KEY WORDS: Conservation · Life history · Fisheries · Population dynamics · Chondrichthyes

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Cite this article as: Santander-Neto J, Barreto R, Santana FM, Lessa RPT (2021) Age, growth and demography of the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis from the southwestern Atlantic. Endang Species Res 45:237-249.

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