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Population structure and aspects of the reproductive biology of the blackmouth catshark, Galeus melastomus Rafinesque, 1810 (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) caught accidentally off the Greek coasts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 December 2016

Christoforos Panicos Metochis*
Affiliation:
Institute of Aquaculture, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK
Greta Carmona-Antoñanzas
Affiliation:
Institute of Aquaculture, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK
Vasiliki Kousteni
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, Section of Zoology, Marine Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Ilisia, 15784 Athens, Greece Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Agios Kosmas, Helliniko, 16777 Attica, Greece
Dimitrios Damalas
Affiliation:
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Agios Kosmas, Helliniko, 16777 Attica, Greece
Persefoni Megalofonou
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, Section of Zoology, Marine Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Ilisia, 15784 Athens, Greece
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: C.P. Metochis, Institute of Aquaculture, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK email: xristoforosmetoxis@gmail.com

Abstract

The population composition and aspects of the reproductive biology of 452 blackmouth catsharks, Galeus melastomus were investigated. The sharks were incidentally caught off the North-Western Aegean, the Eastern Corinthian and Northern Euboean Gulfs by commercial bottom trawlers and longlines at depths between 200 and 500 m. The overall sex ratio (1:1.1 females:males) was not different from the theoretical unit (1:1). No differences in the sex ratios were detected among seasons, areas or depth strata. Significant differences in the population structure regarding different maturity stage proportions at different seasons, fishing areas and depths, were observed. The sampled population mainly consisted of immature catsharks (77%), predominantly trawled off the NW Aegean and Corinthian Gulf during winter and autumn. Fifteen per cent of the samples, mainly captured in spring and summer off the N Euboean Gulf, were mature. Eight per cent of the specimens was found to be maturing. Higher frequencies of heavier female individuals were observed. Based on the maturation ogives and the total lengths (TL) for each sex, using logistic regression which presented sex-related differences, male Galeus melastomus achieved maturity at 433.6 mm while females at 483.5 mm. The number of egg capsules in the oviducts spanned from 1–12 per female with sizes varying from 38 × 14 mm to 55 × 20 mm. This is the first study investigating the demography and aspects of Galeus melastomus reproduction in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2016 

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Population structure and aspects of the reproductive biology of the blackmouth catshark, Galeus melastomus Rafinesque, 1810 (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) caught accidentally off the Greek coasts
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