Method

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

  • Chrysoula GubiliAffiliated withInstitute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of AberdeenThe Laboratory, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • , Ryan JohnsonAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology and Entomology, Mammal Research Institute, University of PretoriaOceans Research
  • , Enrico GennariAffiliated withOceans Research
  • , W. Hermann OosthuizenAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Branch Marine and Coastal Management
  • , Deon KotzeAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Branch Marine and Coastal Management
  • , Mike MeÿerAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Branch Marine and Coastal Management
  • , David W. SimsAffiliated withThe Laboratory, Marine Biological Association of the United KingdomMarine Biology and Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth
  • , Catherine S. JonesAffiliated withInstitute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen
  • , Leslie Robert NobleAffiliated withInstitute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

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.