Alternate Title

Investigating Life History Differences Between Finetooth Sharks, Carcharhinus isodon, in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and the Western North Atlantic Ocean


The life history of the finetooth shark, Carcharhinus isodon, off South Carolina was studied by determining age, growth, and size and age at maturity. These data were compared to a recent study describing the same parameters for finetooth sharks in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Cervical vertebrae were extracted from 168 specimens (71 males and 97 females), ranging in size from 376 to 1,262 mm fork length (FL), and prepared for age analysis using standard techniques. Sex-specific von Bertalanffy growth models were generated and yielded the following growth equations: Lt = 1,311 mm FL (1 - e-0.19(t - (-2.17))) for females and Lt = 1,151 mm FL (1 - e-0.33(t - (-1.43))) for males. The oldest female and male aged were 12.4 yr and 10.4 yr, respectively. Median length where 50% of the population was mature was 1,021 mm FL for females, corresponding to an age of 6.3 yr and 1,015 mm FL for males, corresponding to an age of 5.0 yr. Finetooth sharks in the western North Atlantic Ocean had higher observed ages and there was a significant difference in size at age between neonate finetooth sharks in the western North Atlantic Ocean and the northern Gulf of Mexico; however, there were no significant differences among von Bertalanffy growth function parameters between regions examined. Results indicate lower amounts of regional variation in life history parameters for finetooth sharks when compared to other small coastal sharks.