Volume 62

Artisanal Fishery and Catch Structure of the Smalleye Smooth-hound Shark, Mustelus higmani (Springer & Low, 1963), from the Northeastern Region of Venezuela

Tavares, R,; Sanchez, L,; Medina, E.
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Date: November, 2009

Pages: 446-449

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty -Second Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Cumaná

Country: Venezuela


We analyzed the elasmobranch composition and catch structure of Mustelus higmani caught by the artisanal fishery in the northeastern region of Venezuela. A total of 38 species of elasmobranchs were recorded, being the most taken M. higmani (40.8%), Rhizoprionodon porosus (12.6%), R. lalandei (9.4%), and Carcharhinus limbatus (8.0%). M. higmani catches were composed by 36.2% of males and 63.8% of females. Males measured between 32 and 59 cm TL and females measured between 35 and 75 cm TL. Differences in length composition between sexes were highly significant (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test; p < 0.000). Mean length at maturity (TL-50%) estimated from binomial maturity data fitted to a logistic model were 52.5 cm TL in males and 59.9 cm TL in females. Females with near term embryos and with yolked eggs in the ovary indicate an annual reproductive cycle. The brood size was 2-9 and birth length estimate was 25 cm TL. On the basis of the length at maturity estimates, an important proportion of immature M. higmani were caught by the fishery. A needed manage measure must be the revision and modification of the fishing gear characteristics.

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