Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 10, pp 2199–2207

Concordance of genetic and fin photo identification in the great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, off Mossel Bay, South Africa

Authors

  • Chrysoula Gubili
    • Institute of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Aberdeen
    • The LaboratoryMarine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • Ryan Johnson
    • Department of Zoology and Entomology, Mammal Research InstituteUniversity of Pretoria
    • Oceans Research
  • Enrico Gennari
    • Oceans Research
  • W. Hermann Oosthuizen
    • Department of Environmental Affairs and TourismBranch Marine and Coastal Management
  • Deon Kotze
    • Department of Environmental Affairs and TourismBranch Marine and Coastal Management
  • Mike Meÿer
    • Department of Environmental Affairs and TourismBranch Marine and Coastal Management
  • David W. Sims
    • The LaboratoryMarine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
    • Marine Biology and Ecology Research Group, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Plymouth
  • Catherine S. Jones
    • Institute of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Aberdeen
    • Institute of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Aberdeen
Method

DOI: 10.1007/s00227-009-1233-y

Cite this article as:
Gubili, C., Johnson, R., Gennari, E. et al. Mar Biol (2009) 156: 2199. doi:10.1007/s00227-009-1233-y

Abstract

Visual identification of naturally acquired marks has been a popular if subjective method of animal identification and population estimation over the last 40 years. Molecular genetics has also independently developed objective individual marking techniques during the same period. Here, we assess the concordance of individual great white shark (Carcharodon carharias) dorsal fin recognition and identification, using seven microsatellite loci as the independent unbiased arbiter, over a period of 5 years. As a monitoring technique, fin photographs offer a very good individual identification key for white sharks over a relatively short period of time (5 years), matching with genetic data in about 85% of cases, whilst caution and a continuously updated database is required for animal recognition over a longer period.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009