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Distribution and ecology of bigeye thresher Alopias superciliosus in the Pacific Ocean

Abstract

We analyzed records of shark capture by tuna longline vessels during the period 1992–2006 to document the distribution and ecology of bigeye thresher in the Pacific Ocean. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) was highest in the area of 10–15°N in the north and 5–10°S in the south. Juveniles <150 cm were also distributed in this area. Seasonal changes in the distribution of abundance are thought to represent seasonal migrations in latitude. We observed an increase in the ratio of large individuals at high latitude, likely a result of their increased thermal capacity allowing them to migrate further. Males were captured more often than females, suggesting that there is segregation by sex. Pregnant females were observed from 0°N to 36°N in the north Pacific. Neonates were observed between 10–15°N/150–180°W, overlapping with the area in which large numbers of juveniles were captured. Thus, we hypothesize that this area represents the parturition and nursery grounds for bigeye thresher in this region.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the officers, crew, and teachers of Japanese research and training vessels for collecting the data, and Dr. Toru Taniuchi for approving the use of the data. We also thank the staff of NRIFSF for their advice regarding data analysis and manuscript preparation.

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Correspondence to Hiroaki Matsunaga.

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Matsunaga, H., Yokawa, K. Distribution and ecology of bigeye thresher Alopias superciliosus in the Pacific Ocean. Fish Sci 79, 737–748 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-013-0660-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-013-0660-3

Keywords

  • Bigeye thresher
  • Distribution
  • Ecological characteristics
  • Pacific Ocean