Identification and evaluation of shark bycatch in Georgia’s commercial shrimp trawl fishery with implications for management

Fisheries Management and Ecology
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Abstract

Many US states have recreational and commercial fisheries that occur in nursery areas occupied by subadult sharks and can potentially affect their survival. Georgia is one of few US states without a directed commercial shark fishery, but the state has a large, nearshore penaeid shrimp trawl fishery in which small sharks occur as bycatch. During our 1995-1998 investigation of bycatch in fishery-dependent sampling events, 34% of 127 trawls contained sharks. This bycatch totalled 217 individuals from six species, with Atlantic sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae (Richardson), the most common and finetooth shark, Carcharhinus isodon (Müller & Henle) and spinner shark, Carcharhinus brevipinna (Müller & Henle), the least common. The highest catch rates for sharks occurred during June and July and coincided with the peak months of the pupping season for many species. Trawl tow speed and tow time did not significantly influence catch rates for shark species. Gear configurations [net type, turtle excluder device (TED), bycatch reduction device] affected catch rates for shark species. Results of this study indicate gear restrictions, a delayed season opening, or reduced bar spacing on TEDs may reduce shark bycatch in this fishery.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Identification and evaluation of shark bycatch in Georgia’s commercial shrimp trawl fishery with implications for management
Series title Fisheries Management and Ecology
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2400.2010.00757.x
Volume 18
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Blackwell Science
Publisher location Oxford, England
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 9 p.
First page 104
Last page 112
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N