Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 299–310 | Cite as

Biology of the Galapagos shark,Carcharhinus galapagensis, in Hawai'i

  • Bradley M. Wetherbee
  • Gerald L. Crow
  • Christopher G. Lowe


Catch records from the Hawai'i Cooperative Shark Research and Control Program, which operated in Hawai'i from 1967–1969, were examined and data on the Galapagos shark,Carcharhinus galapagensis were analyzed. A total of 304 Galapagos sharks was caught, predominantly with longlines. More female sharks were caught than males, and the catch was skewed geographically. On the island of O'ahu the highest catch rates occurred along the north and south coasts. High catch rates also occurred near points of land, where longshore currents converge. Average depth of capture was greater for juveniles (45.1 m) and mature males (60.2 m), than for subadults (38.8 m) and mature female sharks (34.2 m). Males appear to reach maturity between 205 and 239 cm total length, and females between 215 and 245 cm. Litter size ranged from 4 to 16 pups, with an average of 8.7. In Hawaiian waters Galapagos sharks are born at just over 80 cm total length. Mating and parturition apparently occur early in the year, and gestation is estimated to be about 12 months. Stomach contents consisted mainly of teleosts and benthic prey, and ontogenetic changes in diet occurred as sharks increased in size. Sharks consumed a smaller proportion of teleosts and more elasmobranchs with increasing size. Dietary diversity also increased with increasing size of shark.

Key words

Catch rate Distribution Reproduction Diet Elasmobranchs 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley M. Wetherbee
    • 1
  • Gerald L. Crow
    • 2
  • Christopher G. Lowe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of Hawai'i at ManoaHonoluluU.S.A.
  2. 2.Waikiki Aquarium, School of Ocean and Earth Science and TechnologyUniversity of Hawai'i at ManoaHonoluluU.S.A.

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