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Some aspects of the biology of the goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni, collected from the Tokyo Submarine Canyon and adjacent waters, Japan

Abstract

A total of 148 specimens of Mitsukurina owstoni were examined for morphology, distribution, stomach contents, and reproductive condition. Sixty-nine males (81.7–208.5 cm in total length, TL) and 56 females (92.8–196.1 cm TL) were collected with bottom gillnets along a steep slope of the Tokyo Submarine Canyon (100–350 m depth) from May 1995 to October 1996. In addition, data were obtained from 23 specimens of M. owstoni collected from Sagami Bay, Suruga Bay, and the Enshu-nada Sea from 1972 to 2001. Japanese catch records already published (from 1898) plus those in the present study were from the Pacific coast of Japan, from Choshi to the Kii Peninsula. The main fishing season for M. owstoni by bottom gillnet fishing in the Tokyo Submarine Canyon was October to April, at depths of 200–245 m. No specimens examined were sexually mature, including the largest male (208.5 cm TL) and female (196.1 cm TL) recorded. Of 110 stomachs from specimens from the Tokyo Submarine Canyon, 32 (29.1%) were empty. The remainder variously included teleost fishes, squids, decapods, isopods, digested food, and human refuse. Teleost fishes (Macrouridae sp. and Stomiidae spp.), an isopod (Cymothoidae), and decapods (Pasiphaea sinensis and Sergia sp.) were the only identifiable prey, the indication being that teleosts (all size ranges) were of primary importance as prey for M. owstoni.

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Correspondence to Masaki Miya.

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Yano, K., Miya, M., Aizawa, M. et al. Some aspects of the biology of the goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni, collected from the Tokyo Submarine Canyon and adjacent waters, Japan. Ichthyol Res 54, 388–398 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-007-0414-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-007-0414-2

Key words

  • Morphology
  • Catch records
  • Reproduction
  • Diet