Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Size compositions and reproductive biology of an important bycatch shark species (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) in south-western Australian waters

Jones, A.A., Hall, N.G. and Potter, I.C. (2008) Size compositions and reproductive biology of an important bycatch shark species (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) in south-western Australian waters. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 88 (1). pp. 189-197.

PDF - Published Version
Download (295kB)
Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Heterodontus portusjacksoni was obtained from the catches of commercial trawl, gillnet and longline fisheries operating in south-western Australian waters, in which this shark is an abundant bycatch species. Ninety per cent of the H. portusjacksoni caught by commercial trawling in a marine embayment were <400 mm in total length, whereas 99 and 100%, respectively, of the individuals taken by commercial gillnet and longline outside that embayment were >400 mm. Although the differences between the size compositions in the catches obtained by trawling vs both gillnetting and longlining, which were similar, are partly attributable to gear selectivity, they also reflect a use by juvenile H. portusjacksoni of protected nearshore waters as nursery areas and a tendency for larger juveniles and adults to occupy reef/rock habitats in a range of water depths. The fact that all but one of the numerous H. portusjacksoni >800 mm were females is reflected in the ratio of females to males differing significantly from parity in the gillnet and longline samples. Yolked oocytes usually take one year to develop to ovulatory size. Ovulation occurs in late winter to early summer and hatching takes place a year later when the embryo is 180–220 mm. The claspers of males commence rapid growth at a total length of ~450 mm, coincident with the onset of clasper calcification and gonadal maturation. The rate of clasper growth relative to total length reached a maximum at ~570 mm and then declined precipitously as the claspers approached full calcification. Based on gonadal criteria, the L50 at maturity for females (805 mm) was nearly 40% greater than that for males (593 mm). Values of the deviance information criterion and marked overlap in their 95% confidence intervals demonstrate that the L50 of 581 mm derived for males using full clasper calcification as the index of maturity was equally valid as the above L50 derived for males at maturity using gonadal criteria. The capture of substantial numbers of juveniles by trawling and of females <L50 at maturity by gillnetting and longlining may be having localized effects on the population structure of H. portusjacksoni in south-western Australian waters.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: 2008 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year