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Age and growth of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) in the North Atlantic Ocean



Age and growth of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) in the North Atlantic Ocean



Fishery Bulletin 101(3): 7-39



Age and growth estimates for the blue shark (Prionace glauca) were derived from 411 vertebral centra and 43 tag-recaptured blue sharks collected in the North Atlantic, ranging in length from 49 to 312 cm fork length (FL). The vertebrae of two oxytetracycline-injected recaptured blue sharks support an annual spring deposition of growth bands in the vertebrae in sharks up to 192 cm FL. Males and females were aged to 16 and 15 years, respectively, and full maturity is attained by 5 years of age in both sexes. Both sexes grew similarly to age seven, when growth rates decreased in males and remained constant in females. Growth rates from tag-recaptured individuals agreed with those derived from vertebral annuli for smaller sharks but appeared overestimated for larger sharks. Von Bertalanffy growth parameters derived from vertebral length-at-age data are L[infinity]=282 cm FL, K=0.18, and t0=-1.35 for males, and L[infinity]=310 cm FL, K=0.13, and t0=-1.77 for females. The species grows faster and has a shorter life span than previously reported for these waters.

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