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Biological aspects of silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis in the eastern Arabian Sea

  • Sijo P. Varghese (a1), D.K. Gulati (a1), N. Unnikrishnan (a1) and A.E. Ayoob (a1)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.
Abstract

Reproduction, diet and growth of silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis in the eastern Arabian Sea are described based on 473 specimens collected from the gillnet-cum-longline landings at the Cochin fisheries harbour during 2012–2014. The reproductive biology of 215 males and 258 females was examined while 113 stomachs were sampled to study the diet. The von Bertalanffy growth parameters estimated using length-based models were asymptotic length (L ) = 309.80 cm, growth coefficient (K) = 0.10 year−1 and age at zero length (t 0) = −2.398 year. The sex ratio was significantly skewed to females. Seasonality in reproduction was not evident and in males, sexual maturity was attained at 201–223 cm total length (L T) with the size at maturity (L T50) occurring at 217.0 cm, whereas in females sexual maturity was attained at 224–231 cm L T and L T50 occurs at 226.5 cm. In total 114 embryos, in the length range of 12.2–65.1 cm were recovered from 15 pregnant females. Numbers of embryos in females were in the range of 3–13, averaging 7.6. Silky sharks of the eastern Arabian Sea feed primarily on swimming crab Charybdis smithii, with juveniles feeding principally on swimming crabs, while adults feed on actively swimming prey like squids and teleost fishes. This preliminary information on the reproduction, diet and growth should be useful to identify management strategies for silky sharks in the eastern Arabian Sea.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: S.P. Varghese, Cochin Base of Fishery Survey of India, Kochangadi, Kochi, India email: varghesefsi@hotmail.com
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