Alternate Title

Age and Growth of the Sandbar Shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) from the Northern Gulf of Mexico and the Western North Atlantic Ocean


Age and growth analysis of the sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, from the northern Gulf of Mexico and western North Atlantic Ocean was completed with vertebral samples (n = 1,194). Three parameter von Bertalanffy growth curves were run for male and female sandbar sharks separately, and growth parameters were estimated: theoretical maximum length (L) = 172.9 ± 1.3 cm straight-line fork length [FL], growth coefficient (k) = 0.15 ± 0.01 yr-1, x-intercept (t0) = 22.3 ± 0.2 SE (male); and L = 181.2 ± 1.5 cm FL, k = 0.12 ± 0.01 yr-1, t0 = 23.1 ± 0.2 SE (female). The oldest sandbar shark was a 27-yr-old female, and the oldest male was 22 yr old. The age and growth parameters estimated during this study differed from those in previous studies. The differences in the age and growth parameters may indicate growth overfishing, or they may be due to the bias in sampling from a fishery that targets a limited size range of sharks.