Large pelagic sharks are distributed throughout all of the oceans and are caught as bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries worldwide. In the southern Atlantic Ocean, more than a dozen shark species are caught by the Brazilian tuna longline fleet. This study compiles information of the main shark species caught by the Brazilian tuna longline fishery in the southwestern and equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Catch and effort data of 14,860 longline sets from the Brazilian chartered tuna longline fleet, between 2004 and 2010, were analyzed. The blue shark Prionace glauca was the main shark species captured by this fishery. Shark catches showed contrasting trends during the study period: the silky (Carcharhinus falciformis) and the oceanic whitetip (C. longimanus) sharks catch increased up to 2008 and then declined, while mako sharks (Isurus spp.) showed an opposite trend. Effort for the Brazilian longline fishery had a higher concentration from 10°N to 30°S and from 20°W to 40°W. High values of catch per unit effort of southwestern and equatorial Atlantic Ocean sharks were heterogeneously distributed and, although elasmobranchs were caught over most of the longline fishing range, only blue sharks were caught in all areas. In the southern Atlantic Ocean, high fishing effort zones overlap significantly with some nursery areas, especially for the oceanic whitetip shark, indicating that these areas are at a direct risk from the industrial longline fishery.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 7, 2015
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