The physiological response of the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) to longline capture

Edward J. Brooks, John W. Mandelman, Katherine A. Sloman, Stephanie Liss, Andy J. Danylchuk, Steven J. Cooke, Gregory B. Skomal, David P. Philipp, David W. Sims, Cory D. Suski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Longline fishing is the most common elasmobranch capture method around the world, yet the physiological consequences of this technique are poorly understood. To quantify the sub-lethal effects of longline capture in the commonly exploited Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi), 37 individuals were captured using standard, mid-water longlines. Hook timers provided hooking duration to the nearest minute. Once sharks were landed, blood samples were taken and used to measure a suite of physiological parameters. Control data were obtained by sampling an additional three unrestrained Caribbean reef sharks underwater at an established shark feeding site. The greatest level of physiological disruption occurred after 120-180min of hooking, whereas sharks exposed to minimal and maximal hook durations exhibited the least disturbed blood chemistry. Significant relationships were established between hooking duration and blood pH, pCO2, lactate, glucose, plasma calcium and plasma potassium. Longline capture appears more benign than other methods assessed to date, causing a shift in the stress response from acute at the onset of capture to a sub-acute regime as the capture event progresses, apparently facilitating a degree of physiological recovery. Continued investigation into the physiological response of elasmobranchs to longline capture is vital for the effective management of such fisheries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Blood chemistry
  • Capture stress
  • Carcharhinus perezi
  • Caribbean reef shark
  • Longline
  • Non-linear stress response
  • Parabolic stress response
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology


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