With species diversity in tropical ecosystems being threatened by unsustainable fishing methods and growing populations, management strategies appropriate for coastal areas requires understanding how ecological similarities and differences among species shape ecosystem processes. ‘Similar life history traits in bull (Carcharhinus leucas) and pig-eye (C. amboinensis) sharks‘, published on 25 July 2011, discusses whether morphological similarity equated to similar age and growth patterns in two common sharks in Australia – the pig-eye and bull sharks.
Important factors shaping ecological function and providing estimates of susceptibility to over-exploitation and species resilience are longevity, age at maturity and growth rate. Principally sourced from commercial fisheries in the Northern Territory from 2007-2009 vertebrae were sectioned to provide estimates of the age of these animals. Model averaging results indicated female pig-eye sharks matured at 13 years and lived for more than 30 years. To read more about the results, click here.