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Latin american journal of aquatic research

versión On-line ISSN 0718-560X

Resumen

AGUILAR, Consuelo et al. Shark catches in the northwest region of Cuba. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res. [online]. 2014, vol.42, n.3, pp.477-487. ISSN 0718-560X.

Sharks have been important as seafood source and fisheries revenue in Cuba. Nevertheless, current information about this group of fishes in Cuba is scarce and in the last decades they have not been the focus of any organized research. From October 2009 to June 2011, fisheries and biological (229 sharks examined) data were collected at four landing sites in the northwest of Cuba. At present, there is no organized fishery specifically targeting only sharks along the northwest coast of Cuba, but they are caught as a component of multispecies fisheries on the insular shelf and as bycatch in longline fisheries targeting billfishes. We registered a total of 17 species, six in the commercial fishery, dominated by Carcharhinus perezii, Sphyrna mokarran, and Carcharhinus leucas, and 14 in the sport fishery (i.e., small-scale artisanal, not recreational properly), dominated by Isurus oxyrinchus, Isuruspaucus, Carcharhinus longimanus, Carcharhinus falciformis, Galeocerdo cuvier and Prionace glauca. Mean CPUE by months in sport fishing varied from 0.43 to 4.44 number of sharks caught per ten fishing trips. Most oceanic sharks caught in the Cuban sport fisheries are highly migratory species and their populations show great ecological connectivity throughout the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters. This fact and the presence of a high proportion of individuals of C. longimanus and C. falciformis below maturity size are important results to be considered for regional conservation of sharks and planning rational use of shark fisheries.

Palabras clave : shark catches; species composition; Gulf of Mexico; Cuba.

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