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High survivorship after catch-and-release fishing suggests physiological resilience in the endothermic shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)


French, RP and Lyle, J and Tracey, S and Currie, S and Semmens, JM, High survivorship after catch-and-release fishing suggests physiological resilience in the endothermic shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), Conservation Physiology, 3, (1) Article cov044. ISSN 2051-1434 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Author. Licenced under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

DOI: doi:10.1093/conphys/cov044


The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is a species commonly targeted by commercial and recreational anglers in many parts of the developed world. In Australia, the species is targeted by recreational anglers only, under the assumption that most of the sharks are released and population remain minimally impacted. If released sharks do not survive, the current management strategy will need to be revised. Shortfin mako sharks are commonly subjected to lengthy angling events; however, their endothermic physiology may provide an advantage over ectothermic fishes when recovering from exercise. This study assessed the post-release survival of recreationally caught shortfin mako sharks using Survivorship Pop-up Archival Transmitting (sPAT) tags and examined physiological indicators of capture stress from blood samples as well as any injuries that may be caused by hook selection. Survival estimates were based on 30 shortfin mako sharks captured off the south-eastern coast of Australia. Three mortalities were observed over the duration of the study, yielding an overall survival rate of 90%. All mortalities occurred in sharks angled for <30 min. Sharks experienced increasing plasma lactate with longer fight times and higher sea surface temperatures (SSTs), increased plasma glucose at higher SSTs and depressed expression of heat shock protein 70 and β-hydroxybutyrate at higher SSTs. Long fight times did not impact survival. Circle hooks significantly reduced foul hooking when compared with J hooks. Under the conditions of this study, we found that physical injury associated with hook choice is likely to have contributed to an increased likelihood of mortality, whereas the high aerobic scope associated with the species' endothermy probably enabled it to cope with long fight times and the associated physiological responses to capture.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:catch-and-release fishing, endothermy, mako shark, post-release survival, stress physiology
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fish physiology and genetics
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - recreational freshwater
UTAS Author:French, RP (Mr Robert French)
UTAS Author:Lyle, J (Associate Professor Jeremy Lyle)
UTAS Author:Tracey, S (Associate Professor Sean Tracey)
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:103401
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-10-07
Last Modified:2017-11-04
Downloads:336 View Download Statistics

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