Post-release Mortality of Blue Sharks from the Recreational Shark Fishery

Project Collaborators:

Dr. Steven Campana (DFO - Canadian Shark Research Lab)

Art Gaeten (Blue Shark Fishing Charters)

Project Status:

In Progress

Type of Initiative:


Project Location:

Atlantic Canada

For which Shark Species:

Blue shark (Prionace glauca)

Project Description:

Most of the blue sharks caught in the North Atlantic are caught accidentally during commercial fishing operations for species such as swordfish and tuna. Almost all of the blue sharks are released at sea (including the 10-20% that are already dead), but scientists around the world currently assume that many of the remainder die after release. The exact proportion that die is unknown, but this number is important: if most of the released sharks survive, there is no great problem. But if most die after release, bycatch mortality may be a major cause of the observed population decline. Recreational shark fishing uses rod and reels, rather than longlines. Therefore, the post-release mortality of recreationally-caught blue sharks is likely to be different than that determined for pelagic longliners. Beginning in 2011, we have begun to deploy 20 satellite tags on injured and healthy blue sharks caught by recreational fishermen. The aim is to quantify post release mortality from recreational shark fishing.

Previous Work:

Campana, S. E., Joyce, W., and Manning, M. J. 2009. Bycatch and discard mortality in commercially caught blue sharks (Prionace glauca) assessed using archival satellite pop-up tags. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 387:241-253. pdf

Campana, S. E., Joyce, W., Francis, M. P., and Manning, M. J. 2009. Comparability of blue shark mortality estimates for the Atlantic and Pacific longline fisheries. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 396:161-164. pdf

Campana, S.E., L. Marks, W. Joyce and N.E. Kohler. 2006. Effects of recreational and commercial fishing on blue sharks (Prionace glauca) in Atlantic Canada, with inferences on the North Atlantic population. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 63:670-682. pdf

Contact Information:

Dr. Steven Campana
Senior Scientist
Canadian Shark Research Laboratory
Bedford Institute of Oceanigraphy
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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