< White sharks grow and mature slower than thought – Tracking Sharks

White sharks grow and mature slower than thought

A2014 study by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution shows that sharks grow and mature much slower than once previously thought.

Li Ling Hamady, MIT/WHOI Joint Program student and lead author of the study published in PLOS ON told Science Daily  “Our results dramatically extend the maximum age and longevity of white sharks compared to earlier studies. Understanding longevity of the species, growth rate, age at sexual maturity, and differences in growth between males and females are especially important for sustainable management and conservation efforts.”

The group was able to analyze four male and four female northwestern Atlantic Ocean great white sharks vertebera and using radiocarbon age validation.  Their findings showed the largest female was 40 years old and the largest males were 73 years old.

Mrs. Hamady said “Understanding longevity of the species, growth rate, age at sexual maturity, and differences in growth between males and females are especially important for sustainable management and conservation efforts.”

According to the report Great whites don’t mature until they are 30 and live for around 70 years.

 David McKendrick of Alberton, P.E.I. in 1983. (Canadian Shark Research Laboratory)
This info could mean the 1983 17ft Great White shark caught off Prince Edward Island still had some growing to do.  (Canadian Shark Research Laboratory)

The life span of 70 years means great whites would be one of the longest-lived cartilaginous fishes.

Hopeful this information can be used to help conservation efforts to protect the vulnerable species.

 

 

 

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