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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The White Shark: Its Seasonal Occurrence off of Florida's West Coast

The white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, is considered rare in the Gulf of Mexico; however, recent long line captures coupled with historical landings information suggest that the species occurs seasonally (winter-spring) within this region. We examined a total of seven adult and juvenile white sharks (185-472 em total length) captured in waters off the west coast of Florida. Commercial long line fisheries were monitored for white sharks during all months (1981-94), but this species was captured only from January to April. All white sharks were captured in continental shelf waters from 37 to 222 km off the west coast of Florida when sea surface temperatures ranged from 18.7° to 21.6°C. Depths at capture locations ranged from 20 to 164 m. Fishing gear typically used in Gulf of Mexico offshore fisheries may not be effective at capturing this species, and the apparent rarity of white sharks in this area may be, in part, a function of gear bias.

Date of Report: March 26, 2013
Number of Pages: 6
Order Number: G1340
Price: $5.95

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