CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Instructions to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review Article
Referee Guidelines
Early Career Referee Mentoring
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube


Open Access Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 62(6)

Fine-scale spatial and seasonal partitioning among large sharks and other elasmobranchs in south-eastern Queensland, Australia

Stephen Taylor A C, Wayne Sumpton B and Tony Ham A

A Fisheries Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Primary Industries Building, 80 Ann Street, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.
B AgriScience Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Ecosciences Precinct, 41 Boggo Road, Park, Qld 4102, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: stephen.taylor@deedi.qld.gov.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 62(6) 638-647 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF10154
Submitted: 18 June 2010  Accepted: 2 April 2011   Published: 24 June 2011

 Full Text
 PDF (394 KB)
 Export Citation

Our understanding of the ecological role of larger elasmobranchs is limited by a lack of information on their spatial and seasonal abundance. Analysis of 14 years of gill-net catch data in south-eastern Queensland, Australia, revealed that the species composition of large sharks and other elasmobranchs significantly differed among beaches and seasons. Spinner sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna) and hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna spp.) comprised nearly half the catch of all elasmobranchs. Although the distribution of these sharks overlapped, spatial variation existed in their abundance. Spinner sharks characterised the catch at Sunshine Coast beaches, whereas the catch at Gold Coast beaches was dominated by hammerhead sharks. Seasonal differences in elasmobranch community structure were also apparent, driven largely by a lower abundance of many species during the winter and the predominance of species such as spinner sharks and hammerheads in spring and summer. The present study provides the first quantitative data for numerous species of Carcharhiniformes in south-eastern Queensland and demonstrates that analysis of catch-rate data can improve our understanding of how larger sharks partition resources.

Additional keywords: community structure, hammerhead shark, partitioning, shark-control program, spatial patterns, spinner shark, temporal patterns.


Allen, B. R., and Cliff, G. (2000). Sharks caught in the protective gill nets off KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 9. The spinner shark Carcharhinus brevipinna (Muller and Henle). South African Journal of Marine Science 22, 199–215.
CrossRef |

Blaber, S. J. M., Brewer, D. T., and Salini, J. P. (1995). Fish communities and the nursery role of the shallow inshore waters of a tropical bay in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 40, 177–193.
CrossRef |

Castro, J. I. (1993). The shark nursery of Bulls Bay, South Carolina, with a review of the shark nurseries of the southeastern coast of the United States. Environmental Biology of Fishes 38, 37–48.
CrossRef |

Clarke, K. R., and Gorley, R. (2006). ‘PRIMER v6: User Manual/Tutorial.’ (PRIMER-E: Plymouth, UK.)

Clarke, K. R., and Warwick, R. M. (2001). ‘Change in Marine Communities: an Approach to Statistical Analysis and Interpretation.’ 2nd edn. (PRIMER-E: Plymouth, UK.)

Cliff, G. (1995). Sharks caught in the protective gill nets off Kwazulu-Natal, South-Africa. 8. The great hammerhead shark Sphyrna mokarran (Ruppell). South African Journal of Marine Science 15, 105–114.
CrossRef |

Cliff, G., and Dudley, S. F. J. (1991). Sharks caught in the protective gill nets off Natal, South-Africa. 5. The java shark Carcharhinus amboinensis (Muller and Henle). South African Journal of Marine Science 11, 443–453.
CrossRef |

Compagno, L. J. V. (1984). Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species to date. Part 2 (Carcharhiniformes). FAO Fisheries Synopsis No 125, 251–655.

de Bruyn, P., Dudley, S. F. J., Cliff, G., and Smale, M. J. (2005). Sharks caught in the protective gill nets off KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 11. The scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini (Griffith and Smith). South African Journal of Marine Science 27, 517–528.

DeAngelis, B. M., McCandless, C. T., Kohler, N. E., Recksiek, C. W., and Skomal, G. B. (2008). First characterization of shark nursery habitat in the United States Virgin Islands: evidence of habitat partitioning by two shark species. Marine Ecology Progress Series 358, 257–271.
CrossRef |

Dudley, S. F. J. (1997). A comparison of the shark control programs of New South Wales and Queensland (Australia) and KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). Ocean and Coastal Management 34, 1–27.
CrossRef |

Dudley, S. F. J., and Simpfendorfer, S. A. (2006). Population status of 14 shark species caught in the protective gillnets off KwaZulu-Natal beaches, South Africa 1978–2003. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 57, 225–240.
CrossRef |

Heithaus, M. R., Frid, A., Vaudo, J. J., Worm, B., and Wirsing, A. J. (2010). Unraveling the ecological importance of elasmobranchs. In ‘Sharks and their Relatives II: Biodiversity, Adaptive Physiology, and Conservation’. (Eds J. C. Carrier, J. A. Musick and M. R. Heithaus.) pp. 611–639. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.)

Heupel, M. R., Semmens, J. M., and Hobday, A. J. (2006). Automated acoustic tracking of aquatic animals: scales, design and deployment of listening station arrays. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 57, 1–13.
CrossRef |

Heupel, M. R., Carlson, J. K., and Simpfendorfer, C. A. (2007). Shark nursery areas: concepts, definition, characterization and assumptions. Marine Ecology Progress Series 337, 287–297.
CrossRef |

Johnson, J. W. (1999). Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43, 709–762.

Kinney, M. J., and Simpfendorfer, C. A. (2009). Reassessing the value of nursery areas to shark conservation and management. Conservation Letters 2, 53–60.
CrossRef |

Knip, D. M., Heupel, M. R., and Simpfendorfer, C. A. (2010). Sharks in nearshore environments: models, importance and consequences. Marine Ecology Progress Series 402, 1–11.
CrossRef |

Krogh, M. (1994). Spatial, seasonal and biological analysis of sharks caught in the New South Wales Protective Beach Meshing Program. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45, 1087–1106.
CrossRef |

Kyne, P. M., Johnson, J. W., Courtney, A. J., and Bennett, M. B. (2005). New biogeographical information on Queensland chondrichthyans. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 50, 321–327.

Last, P. R., and Stevens, J. D. (1994). ‘Sharks and Rays of Australia.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Papastamatiou, Y. P., Wetherbee, B. M., Lowe, C. G., and Crow, G. L. (2006). Distribution and diet of four species of carcharhinid shark in the Hawaiian Islands: evidence for resource partitioning and competitive exclusion. Marine Ecology Progress Series 320, 239–251.
CrossRef |

Pikitch, E. K., Chapman, D. D., Babcock, E. A., and Shivji, M. S. (2005). Habitat use and demographic population structure of elasmobranchs at a Caribbean atoll (Glover’s Reef, Belize). Marine Ecology Progress Series 302, 187–197.
CrossRef |

Pratt, H. L., and Carrier, J. C. (2001). A review of elasmobranch reproductive behavior with a case study on the nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum. Environmental Biology of Fishes 60, 157–188.
CrossRef |

Reid, D. D., and Krogh, M. (1992). Assessment of catches from protective shark meshing of New South Wales beaches between 1950 and 1990. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43, 283–296.
CrossRef |

Schluessel, V. (2008). Life history, population genetics and sensory biology of the white spotted eagle ray Aetobatus narinari (Euphrasen, 1790) with emphasis on the relative importance of olfaction. PhD Thesis, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Simpfendorfer, C. A. (1992). Biology of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) caught by the Queensland Shark Control Program off Townsville, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43, 33–43.
CrossRef |

Simpfendorfer, C. A., and Heupel, M. R. (2004). Assessing habitat use and movement. In ‘Biology of Sharks and their Relatives’. (Eds J. C. Carrier, J. A. Musick and M. R. Heithaus.) pp. 553–572. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.)

Simpfendorfer, C. A., and Milward, N. E. (1993). Utilisation of a tropical bay as a nursery area by sharks of the families Carcharhinidae and Sphyrnidae. Environmental Biology of Fishes 37, 337–345.
CrossRef |

Speed, C. W., Field, I. C., Meekan, M. G., and Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2010). Complexities of coastal shark movements and their implications for management. Marine Ecology Progress Series 408, 275–293.
CrossRef |

Springer, S. (1967). Social organisation of shark populations. In ‘Sharks, Skates and Rays’. (Eds P. W. Gilbert, R. F. Mathewson and D. P. Rall.) pp. 149–174. (John Hopkins Press: Baltimore, MD.)

Sumpton, W., Lane, B., and Ham, T. (2010). Characteristics of the biology and distribution of the spinner shark (Carcharhinus brevipinna) in Queensland, Australia based on data collected from the Shark Control Program. Asian Fisheries Science 23, 340–354.

Sumpton, W., Taylor, S., Gribble, N., McPherson, G., and Ham, T. (2011). Gear selectivity of large-mesh nets and drumlines used to catch sharks in the Queensland Shark Control Program. African Journal of Marine Science 33, 37–43.

Taylor, S. M. (2008). Population structure and resource partitioning among Carcharhiniform sharks in Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland, Australia. PhD Thesis, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Walker, T. I. (1998). Can shark resources be harvested sustainably? A question revisited with a review of shark fisheries. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 49, 553–572.
CrossRef |

Warwick, R. M., Clarke, K. R., and Gee, J. M. (1990). The effect of disturbance by soldier crabs, Mictyris platycheles H. Milne Edwards on meiobenthic community structure. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 135, 19–33.
CrossRef |

White, W. T., and Potter, I. C. (2004). Habitat partitioning among four elasmobranch species in nearshore, shallow waters of a subtropical embayment in Western Australia. Marine Biology 145, 1023–1032.
CrossRef |

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2014