Estimating survival of the shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus (Rafinesque) in the north-west Atlantic from tag-recapture data

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Survival was estimated for shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus in the north-west Atlantic from tag-recapture data. The data used in this study were collected by the National Marine Fisheries Service Cooperative Shark Tagging Programme from 1962 to 2003. In total, 6309 shortfin mako sharks were tagged, of which 730 were recaptured. The high recapture rate of 11.6% for this species provided adequate recapture data to carry out survival analyses. Estimates of survival were generated with the computer software MARK, which provided a means for estimating parameters from tagged animals when they were recaptured. The results of several models are presented with various combinations of constant and time-specific survival and recovery rates. A parametric bootstrap and the median variance inflation factor (ĉ) approach were used to test the fit of the general model to the data. The estimated ĉ indicated a very good model fit. The models with time invariant survival rate had the most support from the data and no group or time period effects were found. Recovery rate (f) appeared to increase from 0.043 in the early years to 0.056 in the later years. The nominal survival rate of 0.59 year-1 was adjusted with an estimated tag-shedding rate of 0.26 year-1 to generate a final corrected annual survival estimate of 0.79 with a 95% CI of 0.71-0.87. © 2007 The Authors.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Fish Biology