Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Reproductive biology of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) in the western North Pacific Ocean

Yuki Fujinami A B C , Yasuko Semba A , Hiroaki Okamoto A , Seiji Ohshimo A and Sho Tanaka B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 5-7-1, Orido, Shimizu, Shizuoka 424-8633, Japan.

B School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University, 3-20-1, Orido, Shimizu, Shizuoka 424-8610, Japan.

C Corresponding author. Email: fuji925@affrc.go.jp

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16101
Submitted: 30 March 2016  Accepted: 29 January 2017   Published online: 20 April 2017

Abstract

The reproductive biology of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) in the western North Pacific Ocean was investigated to contribute to future stock assessments because of limitations of recent studies and the lack of information about the reproductive cycle. Reproductive data were obtained from 490 males (precaudal length (PCL), 33.4–252.0 cm) and 432 females (PCL, 33.4–243.3 cm). Size at 50% maturity was estimated to be 160.9 cm for males and 156.6 cm PCL for females. Litter size varied from 15 to 112 (mean 35.5) and was positively correlated with maternal PCL. Parturition, ovulation and mating occurred sequentially from spring to summer. The gestation period was estimated to be 11 months. The ovarian follicles of pregnant females developed synchronously throughout the gestation period along with embryonic growth, indicating that females reproduce annually. Our results showed that the productivity of North Pacific blue sharks is higher than previously thought, based on larger fecundity and a shorter reproductive cycle. These new findings will improve future stock assessments and provide management advice.

Additional keywords: fecundity, gestation, maternity, maturity, reproductive cycle.


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