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Comparing Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of the velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, with comments on the efficiency of density-dependent compensatory mechanisms
Coelho, R.; Rey, J.; Gil de Sola, L.; Fernandez de Carvalho, J.; Erzini, K. (2010). Comparing Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of the velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, with comments on the efficiency of density-dependent compensatory mechanisms. Mar. Biol. Res. Spec. Issue 6(4): 373-380. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/17451000903300885
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo; Basingstoke. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Coelho, R.; Rey, J.; Gil de Sola, L.; Fernandez de Carvalho, J.; Erzini, K. (2010). Comparing Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of the velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, with comments on the efficiency of density-dependent compensatory mechanisms, in: Séret, B. (Ed.) European research focus on sharks and rays. Marine Biology Research, Spec. Issue 6(4): pp. 373-380, more

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Density-dependent mechanism; elasmobranch; fecundity; fishing effects;length at maturity

Authors  Top 
  • Coelho, R.
  • Rey, J.
  • Gil de Sola, L.
  • Fernandez de Carvalho, J.
  • Erzini, K.

Abstract
    Etmopterus spinax is a small-sized deep-water lantern shark that occurs in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Differences in depth distribution, densities, size at maturity and fecundity were compared between a population that has suffered high levels of fishing mortality during the last decades (Southern Portugal in the northeast Atlantic) and a population where low fishing pressure below 500 m occurs at present or has occurred in the last decades (Northern Alboran Sea in the western Mediterranean). The density of this species, as derived by experimental bottom trawl survey, off the coast of Southern Portugal, is substantially lower than in the Northern Alboran Sea throughout the entire depth range. The Atlantic population is maturing at smaller sizes than the Mediterranean population and has a lower mean fecundity. Specifically, sizes at maturity for Southern Portugal and the Northern Alboran Sea were, respectively, 25.39 and 28.31 cm TL for males and 30.86 and 34.18 cm TL for females, while mean fecundities for Southern Portugal and the Northern Alboran Sea were, respectively, 9.94 and 11.06 oocytes per mature female. This work demonstrated the possible presence of density-dependent mechanisms in the Southern Portuguese population of E. spinax that has lowered the size at maturity as a possible result of excessive fishing mortality. However, given that this is an aplacentary viviparous shark, where fecundity is dependent on female size, this compensatory mechanism seems to have a limited efficiency.

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