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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 151:181-189 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/meps151181

Distribution, reproduction and diet of the gray reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos in Hawaii

Wetherbee BM, Crow GL, Lowe CG

Distribution, reproduction, and diet of the gray reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos were investigated using data collected during shark control programs in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) and during research fishing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). A total of 472 sharks were caught between 1967 and 1980. These sharks have a restricted distribution in the MHI; they were collected only in the vicinity of Niihau and Molokini islands, but were one of the most abundant sharks throughout the NWHI. Catch rate was higher for males than for females in standard longline fishing at all locations and during all seasons. Most sharks were caught at depths between 20 and 60 m, and depth distribution of the sexes was similar, although females were more common at shallower depths. Males ranged in size from 79 to 185 cm total length (TL), and matured at between 120 and 140 cm TL. Females ranged in size between 63 and 190 cm TL and matured at about 125 cm TL. Litter size ranged from 3 to 6, with an average of 4.1 pups. Size at birth was estimated to be just over 60 cm TL. Most sharks (85%) consumed teleosts, but some fed on cephalopods (29.5%), and crustaceans (4.9%). For sharks in the largest size classes, the frequency of occurrence of teleosts declined, whereas that of cephalopods increased.

Gray reef shark · Hawaii · Distribution · Reproduction · Diet

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