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Bycatch and landings of young of the year sharks in the Malaysian South China Sea: implications for conservation

  • Azie Azri (a1) (a2) and Takaomi Arai (a1)
Abstract

A total of 104 sharks were landed at fishing ports in the Malaysian South China Sea between 30 October and 24 December 2014, comprising the four families, Carcharhinidae, Hemiscylliidae, Sphyrnidae and Scyliorhinidae, and 11 of these shark species were examined. Measurements of size and weight were different and varied among species, ranging from 0.1 to 7.5 kg in body weight and from 31.1 to 105 cm in total length. Five of the 11 sharks, Carcharhinus sealei, Loxodon macrorhinus, Rhizoprionodon acutus, Hemigaleus microstoma and Sphyrna lewini, were in the range of, or even less than, the lengths of those measured at birth in previous reports. The results suggest that these sharks were born just before they were landed. Sphyrna lewini and H. microstoma are categorized as Endangered and Vulnerable species, respectively, and other sharks included in the landings are also categorized as Near Threatened. Thus, the current fishing methods could lead to critical levels of shark species in these waters, and even the future extinction of species. An improvement in the species selectiveness of fishing gear is needed to protect and conserve sharks in the area.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: T. Arai, Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia email: arai@umt.edu.my
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Marine Biodiversity Records
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  • EISSN: 1755-2672
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