The energetic, physiological, and behavioral response of lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) to simulated longline capture

Ian A. Bouyoucos, Cory D. Suski, John W. Mandelman, Edward J. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Commercial fisheries bycatch is a considerable threat to elasmobranch population recovery, and techniques to mitigate sub-lethal consequences can be improved with data on the energetic, physiological, and behavioral response of individuals to capture. This study sought to estimate the effects of simulated longline capture on the behavior, energy use, and physiological stress of juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris). Captive sharks equipped with acceleration biologgers were subjected to 1 h of simulated longline capture. Swimming behaviors were identified from acceleration data using a machine-learning algorithm, energetic costs were estimated using accelerometer-calibrated relationships and respirometry, and physiological stress was quantified with point-of-care blood analyzers. During capture, sharks exhibited nine-fold increases in the frequency of burst swimming, 98% reductions in resting, and swam as often as unrestrained sharks. Aerobic metabolic rates during capture were 8% higher than for unrestrained sharks, and accounted for a 57.7% increase in activity costs when excess post-exercise oxygen consumption was included. Lastly, sharks exhibited significant increases in blood lactate and glucose, but no change in blood pH after 1 h of capture. Therefore, these results provide preliminary insight into the behavioral and energetic responses of sharks to capture, and have implications for mitigating sub-lethal consequences of capture for sharks as commercial longline bycatch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Accelerometer
  • Bycatch
  • Elasmobranch
  • Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption
  • Gangion
  • Metabolism
  • Recovery period
  • Stress response
  • Sub-lethal effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology

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