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Isotopic niches of the blue shark Prionace glauca and the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis in the southwestern Indian Ocean

Abstract : In the Indian Ocean, the blue shark Prionace glauca and the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis represent the 2 main shark bycatch species in pelagic longline and purse seine fisheries, respectively. With the increasing market demand for fins, catches may increase in the future, with potential effects on ecosystem trophic functioning through top-down cascading effects. Knowledge of the species' trophic ecology is therefore crucial but is limited by the lack of data from the Indian Ocean. Stable isotope analysis was therefore performed on muscle tissues (δ15N and δ13C) of these 2 shark species from the western Indian Ocean. Our study showed that body length, season, and zone effects were relatively small for the 2 species. However, significant δ13C differences between the 2 species suggest niche partitioning, with silky sharks having a more inshore foraging habitat than blue sharks. Finally, lower muscle δ15N values were observed in juvenile silky sharks caught by purse seiners around fish aggregating devices (FADs) compared to juveniles caught by longliners. One hypothesis is that FADs could act as an ecological trap for juvenile silky sharks, leading to a position at lowest trophic level for these individuals. However, different foraging habitats could also explain the observed patterns between juveniles. Although preliminary, our results provide a basis for the implementation of species-specific protection and management strategies.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00842635
Contributor : Nicolas Alarcon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, September 23, 2022 - 10:53:19 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 3:29:04 AM

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Niriniony Rabehagasoa, Anne Lorrain, Pascal Bach, Michel Potier, Sébastien Jaquemet, et al.. Isotopic niches of the blue shark Prionace glauca and the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Endangered Species Research, 2012, 17 (1), pp.83-92. ⟨10.3354/esr00418⟩. ⟨hal-00842635⟩

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