Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 10, pp 2199–2207 | Cite as

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

  • Chrysoula Gubili
  • Ryan Johnson
  • Enrico Gennari
  • W. Hermann Oosthuizen
  • Deon Kotze
  • Mike Meÿer
  • David W. Sims
  • Catherine S. Jones
  • Leslie Robert Noble


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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chrysoula Gubili
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ryan Johnson
    • 3
    • 4
  • Enrico Gennari
    • 4
  • W. Hermann Oosthuizen
    • 5
  • Deon Kotze
    • 5
  • Mike Meÿer
    • 5
  • David W. Sims
    • 2
    • 6
  • Catherine S. Jones
    • 1
  • Leslie Robert Noble
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenScotland, UK
  2. 2.The LaboratoryMarine Biological Association of the United KingdomPlymouthUK
  3. 3.Department of Zoology and Entomology, Mammal Research InstituteUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Oceans ResearchMossel BaySouth Africa
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Affairs and TourismBranch Marine and Coastal ManagementRoggebaaiSouth Africa
  6. 6.Marine Biology and Ecology Research Group, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK

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