Biology of Tiger Sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) caught by the Queensland Shark Meshing Program off Townsville, Australia
Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research
43(1) 33 - 43
The biology of 835 specimens of Galeocerdo cuvier caught between 1964 and 1986 off Townsville, Australia, was examined. The sharks were caught in a protective meshing programme using both large mesh gill-nets and set lines. The size at birth was estimated to be 80-90 cm total length, and females matured at approximately 287 cm total length. Litter sizes ranged from 6 to 56. Breeding and pupping both appear to occur in summer, with females not breeding every year. Mature females possibly migrate inshore during late spring and summer to give birth. The sex ratio of juveniles and adults favoured females, with few adult males being caught. Ontogenic changes in the diet were observed, with juveniles feeding predominantly on teleosts, sea snakes and birds and adults mostly consuming teleosts, sea snakes, turtles and crabs. There was no apparent decrease in the population size of G. cuvier in the Townsville area as a result of the long-term catching of sharks by the protective meshing programme.
Keywords: beach meshing, reproduction, feeding
© CSIRO 1992