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1 DISTRIBUTION AND RELATIVE ABUNDANCE OF BLUE SHARKS IN THE SOUTHWEST ATLANTIC OCEAN By FELIPE C. CARVALHO A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FO R THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010
2 20 10 Felipe C. Carvalho
3 To my parents, who taught me the most important lessons
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thank God for the wisdom and perseverance th at he has been bestowed upon me during this research project, and indeed, throughout my life: "I can do everything through him who give me strength." (Philippians 4: 13) I especially thank my mom, dad, and brother. My hardworking parents have sacrificed t heir lives for my brother and myself and provided unconditional love and care. I love them so much, and I would not have made it this far without them. A special thanks goes to Dr. Debra Murie (Deb) for the opportunity to join this graduate program. Her en thusiasm, knowledge, hard work and ethic have been an example for me and influenced me as a person and professional. Deb is always there to support, to guide, and to help, with her calming influence and amazing wisdom. I have learned so much from herand it was just the beginning! I extend my appreciation to Dr. Fbio Hazin for his guidance, understanding, patience, and most importantly, his friendship since my very first day in academia. Fabio has been doing absolutely everything to help me reach my dream s. I would like to thank him also for making this research possible. His support and advice throughout the research project were greatly appreciated. Indeed, without his guidance, I would not be able to put the topic together. Thanks also go to George B urgess for supporting me along this University of Florida dream. and for his assistance and guidance in getting my graduate career started on the right foot. George is someone you will never forget once you meet him. I hope that I could be as lively, ent husiastic, and energetic as George. Thank s also for teaching me how great it is to be a Florida Gator.
5 I am also very grateful to Dr. Daryl Parkyn for his friendship, scientific advice, knowledge, many insightful discussions and suggestions, and for shari ng with me his unique abilities in many areas of expertise. His enthusiasm and love for science is contagious. I would also like to acknowledge my committee member, Dr. John Carlson, who graciously agreed to serve on my committee when he was probably up to his neck in work, and who took the time to share his great knowledge and appreciation of sharks. A good support system is important to surviving and staying sane in grad school. I couldnt have survived the last two years without two friends that I like t o call: John Wayne (John Hargrove) and Geoff Brown (Geoff Smith). I know that I could always ask them for advice and opinions on any issue. I will never forget the many wonderful lunches and fun activities we have done together. I also thank Dr. Cichra (Gr aduate coordinator of the Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of UF), Michael Sisk (College of Agricultural and Life Sciences of UF), Sherry Giardina and Michel l e Quire (Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of UF), and the staff of the UF Intern ational Center for all the great help with my paper work regarding scholarships, graduation, visa, etc. Thanks so much to all the sharkys of the Florida Program for Shark Research: Joana, Sean, Cathy, Jo, Alexia, Julie, Christina Matt, Dr. Snelson, and especially to Andrew, Robert, and Rui for all the help and attention. Thanks to all the crew of Dr. Hazins lab in the Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco for their constant support and cheers: Bruno Mourato (bola de ferro), Catarina Wor, Drausio Veras (negao), Alessandra Fischer, Patricia Pinheiro, Mariana
6 Rego, Bruno Macena, Andre Afonso, Mariana Travassos, Danielle Viana, Jose Carlos Pacheco (careca), Rafael Muniz, and Diogo Martins. I a lso want to thank Dr(s) Paulo Travassos, Paulo Oliveira, and Humberto Hazin, professors of Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, for their helpful career advice, knowledge, strong friendship, and suggestions along all these years. I am grateful to the Tropical Conservation and Development Program of the Center for Latin American Studies of the University of Florida, The Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida, the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, and the Special Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Brazilian Government for their financial support.
7 TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...................................................................................................... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................................ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................ 10 CHAPTER 1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION...................................................................................... 15 The World Fisheries Scenario .................................................................................... 15 Shark Fisheries ........................................................................................................... 16 The Blue Shark ........................................................................................................... 19 Overall Goal and Specific Objectives ......................................................................... 21 2 CATCH RATES AND LENGTH-FREQUE NCY COMPOSTION OF BLUE SHARKS CAUGHT BY THE BRAZILIAN PELAGIC LONGLINE FLEET IN THE SOUTHWEST ATLANTIC OCEAN ............................................................................ 23 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 23 Material and Methods ................................................................................................. 27 Fisheries Catch and Effort Data .......................................................................... 2 7 Fishing Area ......................................................................................................... 27 Shark Length Data ............................................................................................... 28 Standardization of C atch P er U nit of Effort ......................................................... 30 Results ........................................................................................................................ 32 Cluster Analysis ................................................................................................... 32 Catch Models ....................................................................................................... 33 Length-Frequency Composition and Seasonal Variation of CPUE .................... 35 Discussion ................................................................................................................... 37 Fishing Strategies ................................................................................................ 37 Catch Trends ........................................................................................................ 40 Length-Frequency Composition and Seasonal Variation of CPUE .................... 42 3 SPATIAL PREDICTIONS OF BLUE SHARK CPUE AND CATCH PROBABILITY OF JUVENILES IN T HE SOUTHWESTERN ATLANTIC OCEAN .. 66 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 66 Material and Methods ................................................................................................. 69 Fishing A rea. ........................................................................................................ 69 Catch Data .................................................................................................................. 70 Proportion of Juvenile Data ................................................................................. 70 Environmental and Spatial Variables .................................................................. 71 Generalized Regression Analysis and Spatial Prediction (GRASP) .................. 72 Results ........................................................................................................................ 74
8 CPUE Model ......................................................................................................... 74 Proportion of Juvenile Model ............................................................................... 75 Discussion ................................................................................................................... 76 4 GENERAL DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ........................................................ 93 Fishing Strategies ....................................................................................................... 93 Models for Standardizing CPUE ................................................................................ 94 Spatial and Temporal Distribution in Catch Composition .......................................... 96 Spatial Predictions ...................................................................................................... 96 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................................................................................... 98 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............................................................................................. 111
9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 -1 Distribution of annual effort, in number of sets, from 1978 to 2008 to the whole period for the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet. ............................................. 47 2 -2 Distribution of 56,387 longline sets done by the Brazilian tuna longline fishery in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 to 2008, by cluster ........................ 48 2 -3 Characteristics of fishing operations for the six clusters of sets from the Brazilian pelagic tuna lon gline fleet, from 1978 2008. ....................................... 49 2 -4 Deviance analysis of explanatory variables in the models of blue shark caught by Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet ...................................................... 50 2 -5 Model comparison based on the results of Pearsons Correlation for the predicted CPUEs of blue shark caught by Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet .. 51 2 -6 Nominal and standardized CPUE for blue shark caught by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 2008. .......... 52 3 -1 Dis tribution of annual effort (number of sets and % of total sets) from 1997 to 2008 for the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet. .......................................................... 82 3 -2 Stepwise selected GAM models for the spatial predictions of b lue shark and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) ................................................................ 83
10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 -1 Proposed models for blue shark migration in South Atlantic Ocean.. .................. 53 2 -2 Distribution of the longline sets carried out by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 2008.. ..................... 54 2 -3 Catch location and density (in number) of blue sharks measured and sexed by sub area (I, II, and III) in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, from 2006 2008. ... 55 2 -4 Mean number of sets ( SE) per month carried out by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet between 1978 and 2008. ......................................................... 56 2 -5 Dendrogram of six clusters of longline sets from the Brazili an pelagic tuna longline fishery showing Euclidian distance between clusters. ............................ 57 2 -6 Spatial distribution of fishing effort (number of sets) for Cluster 5 by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longlin e fleet ....................................................................... 58 2 -7 Yearly frequency distribution of the 6 clusters reflecting the targeting strategy in the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet from 1978 to 2008.. ............................ 59 2 -8 Proportion of positive catches (=success) of blue sharks caught by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet ....................................................................... 60 2 -9 Value of likelihood function changing the power -parameter ( p ) of the Tweedie model for CPUE standardization of blue shark. .................................................... 61 2 -10 Histogram of standard residuals (left panel) and Quantile quantile (QQ) plots of the deviance re siduals (right panel) of the models ........................................... 62 2 -11 Scaled nominal CPUE and standardized CPUE using a Tweedie distribution of blue shark caught by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet. ......................... 63 2 -12 Quarterly mean FL ( SE) (bars) and CPUE ( SE) (lines) of female blue sharks by subareas and blocks of 5o latitude ........................................................ 64 2 -13 Quarterly mean FL ( SE) (bars) and CPUE ( SE) (lines) of male blue sharks by subareas and by blocks of 5o of latitude ............................................... 65 3 -1 Distribution of the fishi ng sets carried out by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean from 1997 to 2008. ............................... 84 3 -2 Main seamounts off the coast of Brazil ................................................................. 85 3 -3 Location and density of blue sharks measured by onboard observers on Brazilian pelagic longliners .................................................................................... 86
11 3 -4 Contribution of each variable added to the final model (model contribution) for th e CPUE (sharks/1000 hooks) of blue sharks ................................................ 87 3 -5 P artial response curves showing the effects of the predictor variables added to the model for CPUE of blue sharks ................................................................... 88 3 -6 Spatial prediction of blue shark CPUE (sharks/1000 hooks) caught by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet from 1997 to 2008 ................................................ 89 3 -7 Contribution of each variable added to the final model (model contribution) for the proportion of juvenile blue sharks caught .................................................. 90 3 -8 Partial response curves showing the effects of the predictor variables added to the model for the proportion of juvenile blue sharks ......................................... 91 3 -9 Spatial prediction for the proportion of juvenile blue sharks observed in the catch of Brazilian tuna longliners ........................................................................... 92
12 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science DISTRIBUTION AND RELATIVE ABUNDANCE OF BLUE SHARKS IN THE SO UTHWEST ATLANTIC OCEAN By Felipe Carvalho May 20 10 Chair: Debra J. Murie Major: Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Distribution and relative abundance of blue sharks ( Prionace glauca) in the southwest Atlantic Ocean was modeled based on catchper unit of e ffort (CPUE) and length frequencies of blue sharks caught by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet As a measure of relative abundance, CPUE of blue sharks caught in 56,387 fishing sets by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet (national and charter ed), from 1978 to 2008, was standardized by a general linear model (GLM) using three different approaches: i) a negative binomial error structure (log link); ii) the traditional delta-lognormal model, assuming a binomial error distribution for the proporti on of positive sets, and a Gaussian error distribution for the positive blue shark catches; and iii) the Tweedie distribution, recently proposed to adjust models with a high proportion of zeros. A cluster analysis using the K means method was used to ident ify target species and incorporate it as a factor into the GLM. Results of the cluster analysis grouped the data into six different fishing clusters, according to the percentage of target species. The target factor was the most important factor explaining the variance in all three CPUE models. The Tweedie model showed a relatively better fit compared to the others models. Blue shark nominal
13 and standardized CPUE showed a relatively stable trend from 1978 to 1995. From 1995 onwards, however, there was increa sing trend in the standardized CPUE, up to a maximum value in 2008. In general, nominal CPUE and standardized CPUE tracked well up until 2000, after which standardized CPUEs values were at a noticeably lower level than nominal CPUE. I also analyzed length frequency data for 11,932 blue sharks measured as part of the Brazilian onboard observer program operating on the pelagic tuna longline fleet between 2006 and 2008. Overall, blue shark size data showed clear spatial and seasonal distributions for males and females in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean, with juveniles predominantly concentrated in the most southerly latitudes. To better understand the relationship between catch distribution and environmental factors, my second objective was to apply Generalized Regression Analysis and Spatial Prediction (GRASP) to the CPUE data of blue sharks from the Brazilian tuna longline fleet between 1997 2008 (43,546 longline sets) and to size class data (11,932 individuals) from the Brazilian observer program. Latitude was the most important environmental factor to influence the blue shark CPUE in the southwest Atlantic Ocean. CPUE spatial predictions indicated two separate areas of higher catch probabilities. The first one was located close to the southern coast of Braz il, Uruguay and Argentina, while the second area was located in a more oceanic region, in the vicinity of the Rio Grande Rise, between 25S and 35S. Latitude was also the most important factor in influenc ing the proportion of juvenile blue shark s in the c atch The spatial prediction map showed that juveniles were more frequent ly caught to the south of 35oS and that the proportion of juveniles also was high in the area close to the mouth of the Plata River (Rio da Plata). However, for the majority of the Br azilian coast, between 5oN to 30oS, the
14 proportion of juvenile blue sharks in the catch was very low compared with the catch from >35oS. This information can assist in the design of management strategies to either exploit this predictable spatial distribution of the catch, or to manage the fisheries in a spatially explicit manner if one species or component (i.e., juveniles) requires protective measures.
15 CHAPTER 1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION The W orld F isheries S cenario According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the production of fish captured in worldwide fisheries increased in the mid-twentieth century, particularly after the World War II (Sissenwine, 2001). Fishing effort more than tripled in a span of 25 years, result ing in an increase of catches from 22 million tons in 1946 to around 75 million tons in 1970, an annual growth rate of 5.0% (Sissenwine, 2001). However, in the 25 years following 1970, despite significant technological progress achieved during that time the world seafood production only grew from 75 million tons to around 111 million tons, an annual growth rate of just 1.3%. This deceleration was reflective of a decline of available wild fishery resources (Hutchings, 2000). Historically, the worlds oceans w ere regarded as an almost inexhaustible food source. Presently, however, it has become clear that the oceans are more like immense deserts with small, isolated oases of high productivity. Over 90% of the world fishery production comes from less than 3% of the total area of the oceans (Quin n and Deriso, 1999). As a consequence, declining fish stocks increasingly demonstrate signs of overfishing, as excessive harvesting has become chronic in many parts of the world (Rose et al., 2001). FAO ( 2008 ) estimates t hat by 2010 worldwide fishery production by capture will be between 92 and 110 million ton nes annually, thus placing the current level of production either very near or already at the maximum sustainable level. Furthermore, several stocks of the main target species are either at their maximum sustainable limit or
16 already over exploited. Thus, future sustainable growth of worldwide capture fisheries will inexorably depend upon more efficient fisheries management. Shark F isheries Of approximately 1,000 specie s of living cartilaginous fishes, approximately 96% are elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays), with 5% being oceanic and capable of long distance migrations (Hamlett, 1999). Since they are predominantly predators at the top of the food chain, however, t hey occur in relatively lower numbers in comparison to most bony fishes (Hoening and Gruber, 1990). Life history characteristics of fish, such as growth, fertility rate, recruitment and mortality rate, affect their population abundance. Sharks in general are characterized by slow growth, late maturity, low fertility and productivity, high natural survival rate (for all age classes) and high longevity ( Holden, 1974). This set of characteristics results in a low reproductive potential for most species and has serious implications for fishing sustainability, giving elasmobranch populations a limited recovery capacity in cases of over exploitation (Bonfil, 1994). According to the Shark Specialist Group (SSG) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (Cailliet et al., 2005) elasmobranch populations are being negatively impacted by a series of human activities. A number of species are seriously threatened due to: 1) life histories (mentioned above), which make them particularly vulnerable to ex ploitation and hindering their recover y when in a state of depletion; 2) the rapid growth of unregulated fishing efforts in which they are both target species as well as bycatch; 3) high catch and mortality rates; 4) the attraction of incidental catches and discarding, due to the high price of byproducts, especially fins;
17 5) loss of nursery zones and other coastal areas critical to their development; and 6) environmental degradation and pollution. The global landings of elasmobranchs increased ~14% between 1990 and 2005 (FAO, 2008). These catches resulted not only from directly targeted fisheries for elasmobranchs, but also, and perhaps more importantly, from bycatch of sharks in fisheries targeting other species. In addition to the catches by commercial fisheries, the large pelagic sharks have also become highly prized as game fish in recreational fisheries. In spite of this increased fishing pressure, however, there is still very limited information available on their biology and life history characteris tics Even fisheries subject to management regimes are as yet poorly understood or controlled. Especially in developing countries, there is generally little research on elasmobranch biology and fishing effort. Many elasmobranch species are not identified a ccurately, and, most often, there are no records of the capture and landing of species caught as bycatch. Catch and biological information on oceanic shark species are particularly limited. Data collection is often hindered because these oceanic shark spec ies constitute "incidental" catch on offshore fishing vessels that use pelagic longlin e gear to target primarily tuna species (primarily Thunnus spp.) and swordfish ( Xiphius gladius ). Brazil is considered a major shark fishing state by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and is ranked in the top six countries in total elasmobranch catches (Anonymous, 2005). This high rate of shark catches is primarily a result of the development of large, offshore commercial fisheri es for tuna species and swordfish. The commercial tuna longline fishery in Brazil began in 1956
18 with chartered Japanese fishing boats based in the port of Recife in the northeastern state of Pernambuco (Hazin et al., 1990). In 1964, for commercial and poli tical reasons, the activities of this fleet were suspended. However, this Japanese fishery had demonstrated the occurrence of important concentrations of tunas off the Brazilian coast, as well as the economic feasibility of the fishery. The tuna longline f ishery in Brazil was reborn in 1965 with a national fleet based in the port of Santos, in the southeastern state of So Paulo. The national fleet fishery based in the port of Natal in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, did not begin until 1983. By the end of the 1990s, the tuna fishery in Brazil was growing stronger, mainly due to the incorporation of several foreign chartered vessels, reaching a total production of ~29,090 mt (32,000 t) in 2002. In 2005, however, the production of tunas and t una-like species (e.g. skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis ) in the longline fishery decreased by about 30%, to 20,454 mt (22,500 t) (IBAMA, 2006). This reduction in catch was mainly a result of the suspension of some chartered fishing operations, as well as an increase in fuel costs due to the strong rise in international oil prices and the devaluation of Brazilian currency relative to the U.S. dollar, which significantly reduced the value of exported fish. The main species caught by the Brazilian longline fi shery are yellowfin tuna ( T. albacares ), bigeye tuna ( T. obesus ), albacore tuna ( T. alalunga ), swordfish, billfishes [such as the white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus ), blue marlin (Makaira nigricans ), and sailfish ( Istiophorus albicans )] and sharks, includin g the blue ( Prionace glauca), oceanic whitetip ( Carcharhinus longimanus ), silky ( C. falciformis), night ( C. signatus), shortfin mako ( Isurus oxyrinchus ), crocodile ( Pseudocarcharias kamoharai ) hammerhead
19 (Sphyrna spp.) bigeye thresher ( Alopias supercilio sus ), and dusky ( C. obscurus ) sharks. Catch composition and the relative proportion of various shark species change markedly with fishing area, targeting strategy and season. Currently, shark catches correspond to about 20% of the total weight landed by t he Brazilian tuna longline fishery (Anonymous, 2007). The blue shark is by far the most abundant species, accounting usually for more than 50% of all sharks caught (Hazin et al., 2008). The B lue S hark The blue shark is probably the widest ranging shark, having a circumglobal distribution in tropical, subtropical, and temperate seas, including the Mediterranean (Compagno, 1999). In the Atlantic, the blue shark is considered the most abundant species among the pelagic sharks (Compagno, 1999). It ranges from Newfoundland to Argentina in the western Atlantic Ocean and from Norway to South Africa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, and it is present over the entire mid-Atlantic (Compagno, 1999). Blue sharks occur in both oceanic and neritic waters, and are considered to be primarily epipelagic (Compagno, 1984), although they do occur down to at least 600 m depth (Carey and Scharold, 1990). They are highly migratory with complex movement patterns and spatial structure related to reproduction and distribution of prey. They display seasonal movements that are strongly influenced by water temperature (Pratt, 1979), undergoing latitudinal migrations on both sides of the North Atlantic (Casey, 1985), South Atlantic (Hazin et al., 1990), and North Pacific (Nakano, 1994). The seasonal shift in population abundance to higher latitudes is associated with oceanic convergence or boundary zones, as these are areas of higher productivity (Nakano, 1994).
20 The blue shark reaches a maximum size of about 380 cm total length (TL). For males in the Atlantic, size at which 50% of the sharks are mature is 218 cm TL, although some may reach maturity as small as 182 cm TL (Hazin, 1991). According to Pratt (1979), females are fully mature when >221cm TL. Ageing studies suggest a maximum lon gevity of 15 and 16 years for males and females, respectively (Skomal and Natanson, 2003) The reproductive mode of blue sharks is placental viviparity Mating of blue sharks in Brazilian waters primarily occurs off the southeastern coast from December to February (Amorim, 1992). Ovulation and fertilization occur 3-4 months later, predominantly from April to June, wh en blue sharks occupy northeastern waters of Brazilian where they experienc e their highest annual sea surface temperatures. During ovulati on, females appear to be segregated from males and are found in shallower and warmer waters, which may facilitate the process of ovulation, fertilization and early development of embryos (Hazin et al., 1994a). After ovulation, female blue sharks move to th e Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa where females in early pregnancy have been found from June to August (Castro and Mejuto, 1995). After a gestation period of 9 -12 months, females give birth to litters averaging about 35 pups (maximum record of 135 pups ) (Pratt, 1979). At birth, the pups are 35-50 cm TL (Pratt, 1979). Globally, reproduction has been reported as seasonal in most areas, with the young often being born in spring or summer (Pratt, 1979; Stevens, 1984; Nakano, 1994), although periods of ovulation and parturition may be extended (Hazin et al., 1994a). From currently available data, it is not possible to identify a nursery area for blue sharks in the Atlantic, but based on patterens from other oceans (Nakano 1994), a nursery
21 area is lik ely located in the area from the south coast of Africa, where upwelling occurs, northward to the subtropical convergence (Hazin et al., 2000 a ). Blue sharks are the most frequently ca ught shark species in oceanic fisheries around the world (Castro et al., 1 999) Its fins dominate the Hong Kong shark fin market, and an estimated 10.7 million individuals are killed for the global fin trade each year (Clarke et al 2006) In Brazil, blue sharks are taken along the entire coast by fleets targeting tunas and swordfish with surface longline gear. Since 1971, important changes have been observed in fishing gear and strategies in the Brazilian longline fishery that may have caused spatial and temporal trends in shark catches (Amorim, 1992). Between 1972 and 1995, th e amount of sharks landed from the southeast ern coast of Brazil increased greatly, with average annual landings in the Port of Santos increasing from 7.8 mt (8.6 t) between 1971 and 1976 to 1,136 mt (1,250 t) between 1990 and 1994. In 1996, the landings de clined abruptly to 491 mt (541 t) (Amorin et al., 1998). Recently, the majority of blue sharks caught in Brazil were landed in the State of Santa Catarina (550 mt), where the main fishing fleet operating off southern Brazil is based (IBAMA, 2007). Overall G oal and S pecific O bjectives Concerns regarding the impact of fisheries on shark populations have led FAO to adopt the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks In the case of large pelagic species, such as the blue shark their highly migratory nature requires management efforts to address broad geographic regions since these species routinely move between national and international waters, making management a difficult task. Management of Atlantic Ocean sharks, tunas, an d tuna-like species falls under the responsibility of ICCAT. As most fishery resources managed under ICCAT
22 convention are already fished at or beyond the maximum sustainable yield, contracting nations must agree upon conservation and management measures th at can ensure the long term sustainability of the exploited stocks. Knowledge of the life history characteristics and population data for the main species represented in the fisher ies is essential for the development of enlightened stock assessments. These assessments are integral to the decisionmaking process of management that leads to implementation of measures addressing sustainability and conservation. The overall goal of the present research wa s to provide information on the distribution and relati ve abundance of the blue shark in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. These data allow for an improved evaluation of the available stocks, and consequently better conservation, management and sustainable use of blue shark stocks. Specific objectives include: 1 ) Quantify relative abundance of blue sharks through standardization of catch and effort data from the Brazilian tuna longline fleet operating in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean from 1978 to 2008. In addition, to determine size -related trends in abundance an d spatial distribution by analyzing 2006 -2008 length-frequency data collected through an onboard observer program Th ese analyses form the basis for Chapter 2 of this thesis. 2 ) Interpret the relationship between catch distribution and environmental factors b y applying a Generalized Regression Analysis and Spatial Prediction (GRASP) model to standardized catch-per unit effort and the proportion of juvenile blue sharks in the catch based on available size data. These analyses form the basis for Chapter 3 of thi s thesis. Finally, Chapter 4 offers a synthesis of Chapters 1 through 3 with some added insights into the interpretation and possible implementation of shark conservation and management off the coast of Brazil.
23 CHAPTER 2 CATCH RATES AND LENG TH -FREQUENCY COMPOSTION OF BLUE SHARKS CAUGHT BY THE BRAZIL IAN PELAGIC LONGLINE FLEET IN THE SOUTHWE ST ATLANTIC OCEAN Introduction Most of the worlds catches of sharks are taken incidentally by various types of fishing gear constituting bycatch that is either discar ded as sea or landed for sale. Over the past decade there has been a growing global concern regarding bycatch of sharks in fishing operations (Coelho et al 2003; Megalofonou et al ., 2005). However, the historically low economic value of shark products compared to other fishes has resulted in research and conservation of sharks being given a lower priority than traditionally high er value fish species (Barker and Schleussel 2005). The blue shark is one of the widest ranging sharks, having a circumglobal distribution in tropical, subtropical, and temperate seas, including the Mediterranean (Compagno, 1999). Blue shark movements are strongly influenced by water temperature (Pratt 1979), with the species undergoing seasonal latitudinal migrations on both si des of the North Atlantic (Casey 1985), South Atlantic (Hazin et al., 1990), and in the North Pacific (Nakano 1994). The blue sharks relatively high abundance, plus its cosmopolitan distribution and presence in multiple and widespread fisheries has resul ted in it being a relatively well elasmobranch and there is considerable information available on its biology in the North Atlantic Ocean (e.g., Skomal and Natanson, 2003 ) and in South Atlantic Ocean (Hazin et al., 1990, 1994a, b, 2000 a, b ; Hazin, 1991; Amorim, 1992; Lessa et al., 2004). Little is yet known, however, about the stock structure of blue shark s in the worlds oceans (Aires -da -Silva, 2008). In the South Atlantic, the hypothesis of a single
24 stock for management and stock assessment purposes is imperfectly supported (Amorim, 1992; Hazin et al., 1994a; Castro and Mejuto, 1995; Legat, 2001; Azevedo, 2003; Mejuto and Garca-Cortz, 2004; Montealegre-Quijano et al ., 2004). Using information from blue sharks caught off northeastern and southeastern Br azil, as well as the Gulf of Guinea off the western coast of Africa, Hazin et al (2000a ) proposed that a single stock of blue sharks undertake a migratory cycle using a large portion of the South Atlantic Ocean (Figure 2 -1). They hypothesize d that mating occurs in southern Brazilian waters primarily from December to February and that ovulation and fertilization follows about 34 months later from April to June while off northeast Brazil. Pregnant females then move eastward to the African west coast and f rom there southward to parturition grounds located at higher latitudes. However, Legat (2001), using reproductive and morphometric data from blue sharks caught off southern Brazil, proposed the existence of two separate stocks in the South Atlantic Ocean ( Figure 2 -1). Legat suggests that one stock is based in the western region of the South Atlantic Ocean near northeastern Brazil, where mating, ovulation, fertilization, and the initial stages of pregnancy occur. Pregnant females from this population then mo ve towards African waters with parturition occurring between 5N and 5S and 5E and 10E, near the Angola Gyre. The second stock has mating, ovulation, fertilization and pregnancy occurring between 20S and 40S, with a nursery area probably located in A frican waters between 30S and 40S. Currently, there is not enough data to fully support or refute either of these hypotheses. In 2004, ICCAT carried out a stock assessment for Atlantic blue shark s using the single stock hypothesis for the Southern Atla ntic Ocean. Although the general
25 conclusion of the assessment was that the blue shark stock in the South Atlantic Ocean was not overfished, the results were interpreted with considerable caution due to data deficiencies and the resulting uncertainty in the assessme nt (Anonymous, 2008). Another assessment was conducted by ICCAT in 2008 (also assuming a single stock) and the results again indicated that the blue shark stock in the South Atlantic Ocean was not overfished, nor was overfishing occurring (Anonymous, 2008). According to ICCAT, although both the quantity and quality of the data available to conduct the assessment (i.e., catch and effort data) had increased with respect to those available in 2004, the data were still quite uninformative and did not provide a consistent signal to inform the models. In the end, ICCAT concluded that unless these and other issues (e.g., movement patterns, size frequency distribution) could be resolved, the assessment of stock status for blue sharks would continue to be very uncertain (Anonymous, 2008). Recently, the ICCAT working group on assessment methods also expressed concern that some CPUE -series used in the assessments might be misleading because of changing fishing strategies within the fishery. Specifically, several changes in both gear design and structure, as well as in fishing operation and targeting strategies, have been observed over the time series, strongly influencing the catch rates of target and nontarget species (Anonymous, 2009). One way to overcome this lack of standardized fishing is to use clustering methods to categorize fishing effort based on the proportion of several species in the catches, which can provide a method to detect changes in targeting strategies in various fisheries (Ward et al., 199 6; He et al., 1997; Wu and Yeh, 2001; Alemany and lvarez, 2003). This targeting factor, along with other factors that
26 are known to influence catchability, may then be included in the standardization of the CPUE -series using a Generalized Linear Model (G LM) (Gulland, 1983). Catch and effort databases, however, often include a high proportion of records in which the catch is zero, even though effort is recorded to be non -zero. This is particularly the case for bycatch species (Maunder and Punt, 2004), such as blue sharks. In these cases, in order to standardize the CPUE using a GLM, a delta-lognormal model has traditionally been used, assuming different error distributions for the positive catches and for the proportion of positives (Hazin et al., 2008). An other, less common, method is to assume a negative binomial distribution using CPUE as a discrete variable rounded to integer values (Minami et al., 2007). Recently, Shono (2008) proposed the use of the Tweedie distribution to obtain better results in the adjustment of models with a high proportion of zeros. Functionally, different fisheries may require different models to obtain the best model fits. An understanding of the structure of a specific stock is another crucial factor in fisheries population dyna mics, in the allocation of catch among competing fisheries, in the recognition and protection of nursery and spawning areas, and for the development of optimal harvest and monitoring strategies (Begg et al., 1999). Catch composition data has been used in d etermination of the abundance and spatial distribution of age classes and cohorts, a s well as the current mortality rate in the stock (Hoggarth et al., 2006). In the case of blue sharks caught by the Brazilian pelagic longline fishery, information about ca tch composition is still very limited (Anonymous, 2008). It is therefore essential to learn how this species is spatially distributed in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean in relation to potential stock identification and reproductive patterns.
27 The goal of this study wa s to quantify the distribution and abundance of blue sharks in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, including: a) categorization of the Brazilian longline fishery over the past three decades using cluster analysis based on similarities in catch comp osition; clusters generated by this analysis can then be used as a factor reflecting fishing strategy and target species in the generation of a standardized CPUE series; b) standardization of the CPUE of blue sharks caught in the southwest Atlantic Ocean b etween 1978-2007, comparing three different approaches commonly used to standardize CPUE -series of pelagic sharks (delta lognormal, negative binomial and Tweedie distributions); and c) analyis of length -frequency composition of blue sharks caught by the Br azilian longline fleet between 20062008 based on spatial comparisons. Material and M ethods Fisheries Catch and Effort D ata Catch data were obtained from 56,387 longline sets made by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet, including both national and ch artered vessels, fishing from 1978 2008 (Table 2 -1). Logbooks were made available by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SEAP) within the Brazilian government. Logbook s were filled out by the captain of the vessel after each set. This regulation was made by the Brazilian government in February of 1982. Logbook data included individual records for each fishing set that contained the vessel identification date, location of fishing ground (latitude and longitude), hour of the longline set, effort (numb er of hooks), and the number of fish caught in each fishing set. Fishing A rea Longline sets were distributed throughout a wide area of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, ranging from 0W to 60W longitude and from 10N to 50S latitude (Figure 2 -
28 2). To perform the GLM analysis, the fishing area was split at 15S based on differences in the oceanographic characteristics. The subarea north of 15S is mainly under the influence of the south Equatorial Current, which is a broad, westward flowing current that ext ends from the surface to a depth of 100 m. Its northern boundary is usually near 3N, while the southern boundary is usually found between 15 20S (Mayer et al., 1998). This area is characterized also by the presence of seamounts (North Chain of Brazil) a nd oceanic islands (Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Atol da Rocas), and upwelling driven by the equatorial convergence (Mayer et al., 1998). The sub area south of 15S is characterized mainly by the presence of the convergence zone between two current systems: 1) the warm, coast hugging, southward-flowing Brazil Current; and 2) the cold, northward-flowing Malvinas ( Falkland ) Current (Garcia, 1997; Seeliger et al. 1997). Shark L ength D ata Length frequencies of blue sharks were obtained through an onboard fishery observer program operating from January 2006 to December 2008. During this time period, a total of 11,932 blue sharks (6,774 females and 5,158 males) captured over a broad fishing area (Figure 2 -3) were externally sexed and measured to the neare st cm fork length (FL). For the length-frequency analysis, blue sharks were grouped into four size categories previously designated by Mejuto and Garc a -Cort z (2004) as juveniles (70119 cm FL), subadults (120169 cm FL), adults (170209 FL) and large adults (>210 cm FL). Data were also partitioned into three major fishing areas: 1) Subarea I, located in the Atlantic Equatorial Zone between 5N and 15S, the major fishing zone for vessels based in the coastal cities of northeast Brazil, including Recife, N atal, and Cabedelo; 2) Subarea II, between 16S 30S, the major fishing zone for vessels based
29 in Santos, southeast Brazil; and 3) Subarea III, located between 31S -45S, an important fishing zone for vessels based in the coastal cities of Itaja and Rio G rande (Figure 2 3). Mean FLs of sharks sampled by blocks of 5 latitude for the whole study area, by quarter of the year, were calculated and checked for normality and homocedasticity in order to meet the assumptions of an ANOVA. A nonparametric Kruskal -Wallis test was used to compare FL means among regions in the cases where these assumptions were not met. In order to investigate significance of the difference of blue shark catches among quarters of the year by blocks of 5 latitude and the three major f ishing areas a mean of the nominal CPUE per set was calculated using only the onboard fishery observer dataset from January 2006 to December 2008. The significance of the difference of nominal CPUE was tested by one way ANOVA, with logarithmic transformat ion of the data (Sokal and Rohlf, 1995). The nonparametric Kruskal Wallis test was used in cases where the assumptions of an ANOVA were not met. Cluster analysis was done using logbook data on 56,387 longline sets by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet. The target species was inferred using the K means method (FASTCLUS, Johnson and Wichern, 1988; SAS Institute Inc 2006) to identify the number of ideal clusters. The main advantage of such a method, as opposed to using the percentage of a single species a s an expression of the targeting strategy, is that the frequency distribution of all species in each set is used, thus providing a more reliable estimation. A total of 17 species or groups of fish species were included in the dataset as follows: yellowfin tuna ( Thunnus albacares, YFT), albacore ( T. alalunga ALB), bigeye tuna ( T. obesus, BET), swordfish ( Xiphias gladius SWO), sailfish
30 (Istiophorus albicans SAI), white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus WHM), blue marlin (Makaira nigricans BUM), unidentified bi llfish species (OTH BIL), wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri WAH), dolphin ( Coryphaena hippurus DOL), blue shark (Prionace glauca, BSH), hammerhead shark ( Sphyrna sp, SPL), bigeye thresher (Alopias superciliosus BTH), mako shark ( Isurus spp., MAK), silky sh ark ( Carcharhinus falciformis FAL), other sharks, and other teleosts. Once the cluster analysis was performed, catch compositions (mean percentages of the species) were calculated for each cluster and compared among clusters and fishing operation charact eristics for the clusters were summarized. Characteristics of fishing operations for each set included number of hooks, fishing location depth, type of longline (monofilament or multifilament), duration of set, and the diurnal and lunar periodicity of fis hing effort. Diurnal periodicity was characterized following the methodology proposed by He et al. (1997), which classified fishing effort as day or night based on the time interval between when the set began and the gear was retrieved. The longline set wa s considered as day fishing when this interval occurred mostly during daylight hours and night fishing when it occurred mostly during hours of darkness. Standardization of CPUE Standardization of the catch rate followed the approach described by Gavaris (1980). Relative abundance indices were estimated by a Generalized Linear Model (GLM) developed using S-Plus 7 (Insightful Corp., Seattle, WA, USA) and using three different approaches: a traditional delta lognormal model, a negative binomial error struct ure (log link), and a Tweedie distribution. For all models, four main factors: year
31 (n=31), quarter of the year (n=4), area (n=2, <15oS or >15oS), target species (n= 6 clusters, see below), and their interactions were considered. In the delta-lognormal mo del, a binomial error distribution was assumed for the proportion of positive sets and a Gaussian error distribution for the positive blue shark catches (Hazin et al., 2008). The negative binomial model is a discrete probability distribution that indicates the number of trials that are necessary to obtain k successes n fishing sets (Minami et al., 2007). As the negative binomial distribution requires integer values, CPUE was transformed to a discrete variable. Since t he effort variance was less than 10%, the CPUE was obtained based on the number of fish caught by the mean effort (1,929 hooks per fishing set), rounded to the nearest integer. The Tweedie model is derived from a broader class of probabilistic models, call ed Models of Dispersion (MD) following Jorgensen (1997). The Tweedie model is expressed as a compound Poissongamma distribution, and if the power -parameter ( p ) of the probability density function is between 1 and 2, then the Tweedlie model is appropriate for the analysis (Shono, 2008). T o estimate ( p ) and examine what is the best distribution to be used (e.g. Poisson, gamma), the scaled residuals from quasi likelihood fits for the log -link funtion and variance as a power function (where p =0 Gaussian, p =1 P oisson, 1
32 mea sure the strength between the observed and the corresponding predicted values. Values of a djust ed-r2 were also used to evaluate the number of exp lanatory variables that improved the model. Residual plots were used to diagnostically evaluate the model fit. Results Cluster A nalysis Although the mean number of sets carried out monthly was not significantly different over the whole time period (Kruskal -Wallis, F = 5.12 P = 0.12) (Figure 2 4), there was a clear concentration of fishing sets in recent years, par ticularly from 1997 on (Table 2 1 ). The cluster analysis grouped the data into six different fishing clusters according to the percentage of target species (Figure 2-5) including : Cluster 1= albacore (74.3%); Cluster 2= yellowfin tuna, together with albac ore and bigeye tuna (44.8%, 13.4%, and 13.6%, respectively); Cluster 3= other teleosts, together with other sharks and swordfish (24.1%, 11.7%, and 10.4%, respectively); Cluster 4= swordfish and blue shark (54.3% and 10.7%, respectively); Cluster 5= blue s hark (68%); and Cluster 6= bigeye tuna (72.1%) (Table 2 2). Fishing sets of Cluster 5 were spread throughout the entire fishing area, with higher concentrations from 15S to 35S of latitude (Figure 2 6). Comparison of fishing strategies among clusters (Table 2 -3) indicated that operational characteristics of Cluster 5 sets included: (1) the latest mean time of deployment and (2) the highest percentage of sets using monofilament longline. Cluster 4 sets had similar characteristics of Cluster 5, although the cluster showed a slightly larger percentage of night sets, in fact, the greatest percentage of all clusters. Cluster 1 appeared to have the most similar percentage of sets between day and night, however,
33 this cluster presented the earliest mean time of fishing. Clusters 2, 3, and 6 appeared to have similar fishing strategies, with the mean time of deployment being early in the afternoon. The proportion of Cluster 1 was high in the midand late1990s (about 2545%), declined to 15% in 2002 and dropped again to <5% from 2003 onwards (Figure 2 -7). Proportion of Cluster 2 fluctuated mainly from about 20 to 30%, reaching a maximum of 40% in 2004 and 2005, and then declined to 16% in 2008. Proportion of Cluster 3 was generally under 10% for most years, incr eased significantly from 1982 to 1983 (8.4 to 21.4%), declined from 1983 to 1987 (8.1%), and increased again in 1989, to reach the maximum value of 24.2%. After 1989 it remained always under 10%. Relative frequency of Cluster 4, in turn, was high in the early 1980s and in more recent years, with the maximum values reaching 67% and 65% in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The proportion of Cluster 5 was <5% for most of the earlier time period but increased significantly to 14% in 2002 and remained around 5-10% up to 2008. Finally, the proportion of Cluster 6 ranged between 8% (1989) and 24.6% (1985) in the 1980s, and reached its highest values in 1990 and 1992 (31.4% and 30.6%, respectively). From 2005 onwards, a drastic decline was observed in this cluster, wi th its lowest proportion along the entire time series being observed in 2008 (0.7%). Catch M odels The overall proportion of positive catches was equal to 42.8 %, varying over the years, with the greatest values occurring in recent years (2004 2008) (Figure 2 -8). The delta lognormal distribution model explained 64.7% of the variance in CPUE and about 75.0% for the proportion of positives catches (Table 2 4). The main factor explaining the variance for both the CPUE and the proportion of positive catches wa s the target
34 species (cluster), accounting for 52.2% and 47.5%, respectively. The negative binomial model explained 33.4% of the variance and target species was the most important factor, explaining 73.1% of the variance. The Tweedie model explained 60.1% of the catch rate variability for blue shark. Similarly to the previous models, the target species was the main factor explaining the variance for blue shark catches (46.8%). The Tweedie model was more balanced than the other models, as supported by the overall higher value of Pearsons correlation coefficient (Table 2 5). In addition, the power -parameter ( p ) was approximately estimated at 1.2 (compound gamma -Poisson distribution) (Figure 2 9). Residual diagnostic plots for all of the models and QQ -normal plots (Figure 2 10) showed that the residual distribution for the Tweedie model was close to normal compared with the delta lognormal and negative-binomial models. This suggested that relatively good fits were obtained and that the assumed error structure s were satisfactory for the Tweedie model. Furthermore, the Tweedie model had the smallest average coefficient of variance (CV) of blue shark standardized CPUE values (Table 2 6). Blue shark nominal CPUE and standardized CPUE using a Tweedie GLM (Figure 2 11) showed a relatively stable trend from 1978 to 1995, oscillating from 0.5 to 1.0. From 1995 onwards, however, there was an increasing trend in the standardized CPUE, up to a maximum value in 2008 that was approxim a tely 1.8. In general, nominal CPUE and standardized CPUE tracked well up until 2000, after which the standardized CPUE was at a markedly lower level than nominal CPUE.
35 Length-Frequency C omposition and Seasonal V ariation of CPUE Females Overall, the length -frequency analysis showed that female s of all FL classes, from juveniles to large adult s occurred within the fishing area (Figure 2 -12). In Subarea I, the mean FL indicated the presence of adults and large adult females during the whole year. A significant difference in mean FL by quarter of the year was found for the latitudes between 5N 0 (Kruskal Wallis, F = 2.19; p = 0.014), 1S 5S (Kruskal Wallis, F = 5.07; p = 0.009), and 6S 10S (Kruskal -Wallis, F = 4.11; p = 0.011), with large adults being more common during the second qua rter of the year. In the southern portion of Sub area I, between 11S 15S, only adults were observed and no significant difference was found in the quarterly mean FL (Kruskal -Wallis, F = 3.42; p = 0.063). In Subarea II, mean FL of females was signific antly larger in the first and fourth quarters of the year, for all latitudinal blocks between 16S 30S (16S 20S Kruskal Wallis, F = 5.02; p = 0.022; 21S 25S Kruskal Wallis, F = 3.21; p = 0.003; 26S 30S Kruskal -Wallis, F = 6.11; p = 0.010) (F igure 2 12). In the first block of latitude of Subarea III, between 31S 35S, the distribution of the mean FL indicated a larger mean FL during the first and fourth quarters, in contrast with significantly smaller mean FL during the second and third qu arters (Kruskal Wallis, F = 4.11; p = 0.011). The second (36S 40S) and third (41S 45S) blocks of latitude showed a predominance of juvenile female s, with no significant difference in FL among quarters of the year (Kruskal -Wallis, F = 5.22; p = 0.11 ; Kruskal Wallis, F = 6.19; p = 0.064) (Figure 2 12). Comparison of CPUE mean values among quarter of the year showed significant difference s for the first three blocks of latitude in Subarea I, with the mean p eak of
36 CPUE during the second quarter of the year (5N 0 Kruskal Wallis, F = 3.44; p = 0.004; 1S 5S Kruskal -Wallis, F = 4.3 7; p = 0.004; and 6S 10S Kruskal -Wallis, F = 3.31; p = 0.001) In Subarea II, mean CPUE was significantly higher in the first and fourth quarters of the year for lat itudes between 21S 30S ( 21S 25S Kruskal Wallis, F = 4.33 ; p = 0.00 2; and 26S 30S Kruskal Wallis, F = 6.49; p = 0.001, respectively ), with the highest mean CPUE values from the entire fishing area occurring in the last latitudinal block of this Sub area (Figure 2 12). Mean CPUE was significantly higher in the third quarter of the year for the first latitudinal block of Subarea III (Kruskal -Wallis, F = 7.03; p < 0.001). However, in the most southern latitudinal block of this Sub area, 41S 45S the highest mean CPUE occurred in the first quarter of the year (Kruskal -Wallis, F = 5.71; p < 0.001) (Figure 2 12). Males For Sub area I, there was a predominance of adult males during the second quarter of the year in the first three latitudinal block s however there was no significant difference in mean FL (5N 0S Kru skal -Wallis, F =3.71; p = 0.073; 1S 5S Krusk al Wallis, F = 6.12; p = 0.058; 6S 10S Kruskal -Wallis, F = 3.19; p = 0.071) (Figure 2 13). However, significantly larger adult male s were found during the first quarter of the year between latitudes 11S 15S (Kruskal -Wallis, F = 2.05; p = 0.002). The same analysis for Subarea II showed slightly larger individuals during the first and fourth quarters of the year, although there was no significant difference in mean FL (16S 20S Kruskal -Wallis, F = 4.12; p = 0.061; 21S 25S Kruskal Wallis, F = 7.11; p = 0.059; 26S 30S Kruskal -Wallis, F = 4.01; p = 0.065) (Figure 2 13) Also similar to females, juvenile males occurred in the second (36S 40S) and third (41S 45S) latitudinal blocks of Sub area III, with no significant difference in shark size among
37 quarters (36S 40S Kruskal Wallis, F = 3.44; p = 0.073; 41S 45S Kruskal Wallis, F = 5.10; p = 0.061) (Figure 2 -13). Significantly higher mean CPUE occurr ed during the second quarter of the year for latitud inal blocks between 5N 1 0 S in Subarea I ( 5N 0 Kruskal Wallis, F =4.19; p = 0.003; 1S 5S Kruskal Wallis, F = 3.44; p = 0.00 8 ; 6S 10S Kruskal Wallis, F = 6.34; p = 0.001) during the first quarter between 11S 15S (Kruskal Wallis, F =5.22 ; p = 0.002) and during the first and fourth quarter between 16S 30S in Sub area II (16S 20 S Kruskal Wallis, F =5.03; p = 0.007; 21S 25S Kruskal Wallis, F = 3.54; p = 0.009; 26S 30S Kruskal Wallis, F = 2.91; p = 0.001) For Subarea III significant higher CPUE was found during the third quarter of the year between latitudes 41S 4 5S (Kruskal -Wallis, F = 2.25; p = 0.0 0 4 ) However, the lowest mean CPU E values for males from the entire fishing area was observed in the last block of this Sub area Discussion Fishing S trategies Cluster analysis has been proven to be an effective quantitative method used to identify different fishing strategies in studies of other fisheries (Rogers and Pi ki tch, 1992; Lewy and Vinther, 1994). This method is useful, especially in analyses of multispecies fisheries, because commercial fisheries data often do not provide enough information on fishing behavior and operations (e. g., changing target species within a trip). A variety of different fishing strategies have been employed since the pelagic longline fishery began in the South Atlantic Ocean (Amorim and Arfelli, 1984; Hazin, 1993; Arfelli, 1996; Menezes de Lima et al., 2000). In Brazil, pelagic longline fishing originated in 1956 with chartered Japanese vessels based in the northeast region of Brazil (Arago and Menezes de Lima, 1985) Later, fishing activity was interrupted
38 because of complicating economic and political issues, resulting in the migration of the Japanese fleet to other regions of the Atlantic Ocean In 1966, r esults obtained from experimental fishing using pelagic longlines lead national vessels to begin commercial fishing activities in the southeast region of Brazil, targeting tunas (Arago and Menezes de Lima, 1985). Ten years later, Korean and Japanese boats were again chartered to operate off northeast and southeast Brazil, respectively (Arago and Menezes de Lima, 1985). In response to market changes in the early 1980s, multifilament longline (Japanese type) fishing that target ed swordfish was initiated in the southeastern region, with hooks set at dusk using squid as bait (Amorim and Arfe l li 1984). At the same time, another portion of the Japanese fleet began to target bigeye tuna by making deeper longline sets, and yellowfin tuna (Travassos, 1999), which might explain the high frequency of these three clusters combined in the 1980s (yearly average of 70%). In the early 1990s an increasing number of Brazilian fishing companies began chartering longline boats from other countries, including Barbados, Spain, and Honduras. By 1998 chartering activity was intensified by the creation of the Depar tment of Fisheries and Aquaculture (currently Special Secretariat of Fisheries and AquacultureSEAP), which had a goal of developing a genuinely national fleet through the acquisition of new technologies from chartered foreign vessels (Travassos, 1999; Ha zin et al ., 2000 b ; Zagaglia, 2003; Hazin et al., 2004). The consolidation of a longline fishery targeting swordfish occurred in the 1990s in the southeast region, primarily involving Honduras -flagged vessels based in the Port of Santos. These vessels used new fishing gear technology, including a monofilament
39 longline (American type) and chemically luminescent light -sticks (Arfelli, 1996). Due to the effectiveness of this fishing technique the entire Port of Santos longline fleet replaced the traditional m ultifilament longline with monofilament longline in 1995. Concurrently, Spanish and American vessels using monofilament longlines were chartered by Brazilian companies based in the northeast region of Brazil (Hazin et al., 2000b), supplementing several Brazilian vessels. However, even with a large proportion of the Brazilian fleet using monofilament longline, the annual frequency of the swordfish cluster (Cluster 4) decreased from an average of 33.7% in the 1980s to 14.1%, in the 1990s. By contrast, the proportion of sets attributed to the albacore cluster (Cluster 1) doubled from the 1980s to 1990s. This may be reflective of a large increase in the number of vessels chartered to The Republic of China, which specifically targeted albacore tuna off the Brazil ian coast in the 1990s. This entire Chinese fleet left Brazilian waters in 2003, which probably influenced the marked reduction of the yearly frequency of Cluster 1 in 2003 and later (Scheidt, 2005). The increase in the yearly frequency of the swordfish cl uster (Cluster 4) after 2001 was likely a function of the progressive and gradual assimilation of the swordfish fishing technology by the national vessels from the chartered fleet targeting swordfish during the late 1990s. After 2000, a large part of the c hartered fleet was targeting tunas, which drove the national vessels to target swordfish. Furthermore, good market conditions for swordfish were an extra stimulus for the national fleet, which was reflected in the number of vessels increasing 15% from 2002 to 2003 and 19% from 2004 to 2005 (Hazin, 2006).
40 The blue shark was the second most common species caught in the swordfish cluster, while swordfish was the second most common species caught in the blue shark cluster. This indicates that both species are commonly caught together in the longline fishery, probably due to similarities of habitat use and feeding habits (Azevedo, 2003). The yearly frequency distribution of the six clusters, from 1978 to 2007, shows that the relative participation of Clusters 4 (swordfish) and 5 (blue shark) pooled together equaled 9.4% in 1996, almost doubling to 18.4% in 2001, and then jumped to almost 50% in 2003, and to 73.3% in 2007. This showed that after the introduction of the American-type fishing gear in 199596, the ch ange in targeting strategy was gradual, with a significant increase in 2000 and later. As the fishery matured, fishers may have turned increasingly to target ing blue shark, having learned that catches of blue shark were greater than those of swordfish and that blue sharks could therefore be taken in sufficient numbers to compensate for the market price differential between the two species. In addition, the steady supply of blue shark meat gradually helped to build a market for the species in Brazil, thereby driving landing value s upward. The value of fins, which were largely exported to Asian markets in the early 2000s, followed a similar trend in increasing price during this time period. Catch T rends Although CPUE is usually assumed to be proportional to t he actual stock abundance, there are several limitations to this approach. Such constraints are even more serious in the case of non-target species, such as sharks, where data sets often have many zero valued observations a s well as some very large values due to local aggregations (e.g., Bigelow et al., 1999; Ward and Myers, 2005). Modeling these data, however, is essential to the estimation of trends in catch rates and for understanding
41 processes that might lead to increases or decreases in the levels of c atch. Indeed, the true stochastic processes that generated the data are usually not known. Although such data usually have been modeled by assuming a Poisson (e.g., Walsh and Kleiber, 2001) or a negative binomial (Minami et al., 2007) distribution, or by aggregating the fishing effort and applying a lognormal distribution (e.g., Simpfendorfer et al., 2002), the large number of zero valued observations has led to the development of models that expressly relate covariates to the occurrence of excess zeros (e. g., Welsh et al., 1996; Barry and Welsh, 2002; ONeill and Faddy, 2003; Lemos and Gomes, 2004). In the present study, the delta lognormal, negative binomial, and the Tweedie models showed comparatively similar results and all were seemingly satisfactory t o standardize the CPUE -series. The Tweedie distribution, however, appeared to be the best option to standardize blue shark CPUE from the Brazilian longline fleet. Similarly, Shono (2008) standardizing catch and effort data for silky shark ( Carcharhimus fal ciformis ) in the North Pacific Ocean concluded that the Tweedie model performed better than negative binomial or delta-lognormal models based on Pearsons correlation coefficient and residuals. Blue shark CPUE standardized by the Tweedie GLM in the present study indicated a stable trend until 1995, when values began to increase, peaking in 2008. The catch rates observed between 1978 1995 in the present study were similar to those observed by Carvalho et al. (2008) studying blue shark catches in the early 19 60s, which was at the very beginning of the longline fisheries in the south Atlantic. One of the possible reasons for this rise might have been the introduction of the monofilament gear in 19951996 to target swordfish, followed by a gradual increase i n the market value of
42 blue shark with time. The discrepancy between the nominal and standardized CPUE values from the year 2000 on indicates the importance of inclusion of the target factor in the standardization, hence the gear and market changes that occurred, as discussed previously. The observed influence of the targeting strategy on CPUE variability indicated a need for further studies on developing more accurate ways to incorporate such influences in the CPUE standardization process. In this contex t, given the increasingly frequent changes of species target/ gear configuration within individual fishing trips, it must be duly recognized that there is a growing difficulty in defining the target species of a particular longline fishing set (Anonymous, 2009). Length-Frequency C omposition and Seasonal V ariation of CPUE The overall spatial distribution of blue sharks by size showed a general tendency of large adults to concentrate in lower latitudes, with the juveniles being more common in higher latitude s. This pattern is similar to those of blue shark size distributions observed in the North Pacific (Strasburg, 1958; Nakano, 1994), South Pacific (Stevens, 1992), and North Atlantic (Vas, 1990, Buencuerpo et al ., 1998; Henderson et al ., 2001; Senba and Nakano, 2004; Campana et al ., 2006). The seasonal and sex variation in the mean FL for Subarea I was similar to that observed by Hazin (1990), with largeadult females occurring in the second quarter of the year between latitudes 5N 10S and adult males pr esent throughout the entire year. This female seasonality may be a consequence of both horizontal and vertical migrations triggered by a reproductive stimulus, as suggested by Pratt (1979). According to Hazin (1990), in the equatorial Atlantic region the w armest sea surface temperatures occur during the months of March and April (Hazin et al. 1994a), which might suggest that these sharks are taking advantage of these warmer waters to hasten the ovulation and fertilization process
43 (Hazin et al., 2000a). Gub anov an d Grigoryev (1975) showed that in the equatorial Indian Ocean the pregnant females are concentrated from the east coast of Africa to 550 E, and between 20N and 60 S. They added that most of the females in that region were in the early stages of pregnancy. Amorin (1992) observed fresh mating scars on female blue sharks captured off southeastearn Brazil (latitudes 20S 33S) during the months of November to March of 19881992. Mating scars were observ ed to be occur the most in December to February and in January, the peak of the mating season, 80% of the females had fresh scars compared to 14% in March This indicated that th e area wa s a major mating ground, especially during the first quarter of the year (Amorin, 1992). This mating season pattern parallels the distribution of blue sharks noted in the present study, specifically the observations that adult females were most abundant in Subarea II and that larger females were present during the first and fourth quarters. I t is interesting to highlight that this study found peaks in mean CPUE for males and females,in Subareas I and II exactly during the periods when individuals with larger mean FL were observed. Finding the highest abundance and largest females off southeast Brazil during the fourth and first quarter of the year (mating season), in combination with highest catches of these large females off northeast Brazil during the second quarter of the year (season of peak ovulation), might indicate a seasonal movement from south to north. Hazin ( 1990), summarizing the blue shark life cycle in the North Atlantic, proposed that female blue sharks mate with males between latitudes of 30N and 40N, moving after this into the northwestern equatorial Atlantic to ovulate and fertilize their eggs. Nakano and Stevens (2008) mentioned also that adult females
4 4 and males mate around 32N and 35N in the Atlantic. In the Pacific Ocean, mating takes place at 20N to 30N, and large adults occur mainly in equatorial waters (Nakano, 1994). In the Gulf of Guinea, females in early pregnancy are found mainly during the third quarter of the year (Castro and Mejuto, 1995). Mejuto and Garc a Cort z (2004 ) mentioned that this might be due to the benefits of highly productive surface layers of temperate water linked to th e coastal upwelling areas in the Gulf of Guinea. It is interesting to observe that these females in the Gulf of Guinea were found one quarter of the year ahead of the peak of mean female CPUE off the coast of Brazil but at the same latitudes. The parturit ion area is not possible to guess from the present information, but based on the data available from other o ceans (Nakano 1994 ), it would probably be located from the south coast of Africa, where upwelling occurs, to the subtropical convergence (Hazin et al 2000a ). It is important to emphasize that the blue shark migratory routes in the South Atlantic are hypothetical at this point in time. Currently a tagging study using Popup Satellite Archival Tags (PSATs) on blue sharks in the Southwest Atlantic is being carried out to investigate large-scale movements and vertical distribution of this species. Preliminary results indicate trans oceanic migration of female blue sharks, with one individual having moved from its tagging site off the northeast coast of Brazil to the Gulf of Guinea area off the west coast of Africa (F. Carvalho, unpublished data ). In the North Pacific, Nakano (1994) reported high abundances of juvenile blue sharks at high latitudes between 35N 45N. This was similar to the spatial di stribution pattern of juvenile blue sharks in the southwest Atlantic observed in the present study. The results observed for juvenile males off Brazil at latitudes >35S in the present study
45 indicated the highest abundances during the first and third quart er s of the year for the latitudinal blocks of 36S 40S and 41S 45S, respectively. Montealegre -Quijano and Vooren (20 10 ), studying in the same area, found that small juvenile males (FL cm) were more abundant between the latitudes 33S in winter (third quarter of the year in the present study ) and 46S in summer (first quarter of the year in the present study ). Regarding the spatial distribution of juvenile female blue sharks i n the Southwest Atlantic Montealegre -Quijano and Vooren (20 10) mentioned that these individuals move to areas south of the s ubtropical convergence, however due the lack of data collected in latitudes below 38S these authors could not confirm this hypothe sis Results showed an increase in mean CPUE values for juvenile female s from the latitudinal block 36S 40S to 41S 45S which suggest ed that these sharks were mov ing to more southern area s Mean CPUE of juvenile males into Subarea III, o n the oth er hand, showed a decrease towards the southern. As proposed by Montealegre Quijano and Vooren (2010) the seasonality in blue shark distribution and abundance off the southern coast of Brazil might be explained by a variety of oceanographi c characteristics of this area. The Subtropical Convergence (SC), a mixture of cold waters brought by the Malvinas Current and tropical waters of the Brazil Current, occurs in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between 34 and 36S The presence of water rich in nutrients pr omotes higher primary and secondary productivity in the SC region ( Montu et al., 1997; Odebrecht and Garcia, 1997) This in turn increases the amount of potential prey for blue sharks, such as squid ( Illex argentinus ) (Zavala -Camin, 1987; Vaske and Rincn, 1998). In addition, the Rio Grande Rise is in this area. It is a large seismic ridge situated between the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Brazilian continental shelf,
46 approximately 600 nm off the southern Brazilian coast, where depths range between 300 and 4,0 00 m. Seamounts like the Rio Grande are well known to cause vertical water transport, resulting in local increases of primary productivity (Pitcher et al., 2007). Furthermore, according to Castello et al. (1998), the highest primary production in the south western Atlantic Ocean is under the influence of subAntarctic waters, which are rich in nutrients. This maximizes the availability of food for young blue sharks, which represents the most vulnerable stage of the life history of all pelagic fishes (Monteal egre -Quijano, 2008)
47 Table 2 -1 Distribution of annual effort, in number of sets, from 1978 to 2008, and percentage of yearly effort in relation to the whole period for the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet. Year To tal % of t ot al sets 1978 450 0.80 1979 436 0.77 1980 446 0.79 1981 353 0.63 1982 675 1.20 1983 544 0.96 1984 590 1.05 1985 423 0.75 1986 762 1.35 1987 623 1.10 1988 915 1.62 1989 897 1.59 1990 234 0.41 1991 800 1.42 1992 986 1.75 1993 213 0 .38 1994 949 1.68 1995 1735 3.08 1996 810 1.44 1997 1497 2.65 1998 1894 3.36 1999 4664 8.27 2000 6322 11.21 2001 6627 11.75 2002 4843 8.59 2003 2540 4.50 2004 4333 7.68 2005 4413 7.83 2006 2023 3.59 2007 2995 5.31 2008 1395 2.47
48 Table 2 2 Distribution of 56,387 longline sets done by the Brazilian tuna longline fishery in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 to 2008, by cluster (values over 10% are in bold). Cluster 1 2 3 4 5 6 YFT 5.6 44.8 9.4 8.2 2.4 6.3 ALB 74.3 13.4 6.8 5.4 4.8 3.1 BET 5.8 13.6 5.2 9.8 1.4 72.1 SWO 3.1 7.5 10.4 54.3 8.3 9.0 SAI 1.3 2.4 2.1 1.9 0.8 1.0 WHM 0.7 1.2 1.4 0.9 0.5 0.5 BUM 0.5 1.3 0.7 2.3 0.4 0.9 OTH.BIL 0.1 0.1 2.4 0.3 0.3 0.0 WAH 0.7 2.9 2.1 0.4 0.3 0.3 DOL 0.4 0.7 5.7 1 .3 3.3 0.4 BSH 1.3 2.8 8.2 10.7 68.4 1.9 SPL 0.0 0.2 2.1 0.4 1.6 0.0 BTH 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.0 MAK 0.3 0.3 1.8 0.8 2.8 0.1 FAL 0.0 0.1 5.8 0.1 0.2 0.1 OCS 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 Other Sharks 2.0 1.5 11.7 1.2 2.5 2.7 Other Teleosts 3.9 7.1 24.1 1 .9 1.8 1.7 Number of Sets 11.098 16.113 9.786 13.951 3.601 4.764 % of Sets 18.7 27.2 16.5 23.5 6.1 8.0
49 Table 2 3 Characteristics of fishing operations for the six clusters of sets from the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet, from 1978 2008. Set duration is the interval between the beginning of deployment and the beginning of retrieval. Values in parentheses are 1SE of the mean. Cluster 1 2 3 4 5 6 Number of sets 11,098 16,113 9,786 13,951 3,601 4,764 Mean initial time of deployment 9:30 (0.04) 13:00 (0.08) 13:00 (0.06) 17:00 (0.08) 17:30 (0.09) 12:00 (0.04) Mean location depth (m) 3,951 (11.54) 3,613 (16.46) 3,627 (17.76) 3,299 (22.59) 3,587 (20.35) 3,175 (15.67) Mean duration of sets (h) 22 (0.07) 19 (0.02) 19 (0.08) 17 (0.03) 18 (0.09) 19 (0.07) Mean number of hooks per basket 10 (0.03) 7 (0.05) 7 (0.04) 4 (0.03) 6 (0.07) 8 (0.05) % Time of fishing at night 52 74 75 81 75 70 % per set where mainline is: Monofilament 59 69 70 69 82 54 Multif ilament 41 31 30 31 18 46
50 Table 2 4 Deviance analysis of explanatory variables in the d elta lognormal (CPUE and proportion of positive), n egative binomial, and Tweedie models of blue shark ca ught by Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 2008. Delta-log Model for CPUE Df Deviance Resid. Df Resid. Dev Explained Deviance (%) Explained Model (%) NULL 24403 16567.0 Year 26 2829.2 24377 13737.9 26.4 17.1 Quarter 3 74.9 24374 13663.0 0.7 17.5 Area 1 1979.7 24373 11683.2 18.5 29.5 Target 5 5591.6 24368 6091.6 52.2 63.2 Year:Quarter 77 179.3 24291 5912.4 1.7 64.3 Quarter:Area 3 61.7 24288 5850.7 0.6 64.7 Delta-log Model proportion of positive Df Deviance Resid. Df Resid. Dev Explained Deviance (%) Explained Model (%) NULL 1038 28792.5 Year 26 7360.1 1012 21432.4 34.1 25.6 Quarter 3 705.3 1009 20727.1 3.3 28.0 Area 1 1464.0 1008 19263.1 6.8 33.1 Target 5 10255.4 1003 9007.7 47.5 68.7 Year:Quarter 78 1559.2 925 7448.5 7.2 74.1 Quarter:Area 3 255.7 922 7192.8 1.2 75.0 Negative Binomial Model Df Deviance Resid. Df Resid. Dev Explained Deviance (%) Explained Model (%) NULL 57561 67219.7 Year 26 1337.8 57535 65881.8 6 2.0 Quarter 3 464.9 57532 65416.9 2.1 2.7 Area 1 2787.6 57531 62629.3 12.4 6.8 Target 5 16394.9 57526 46234.4 73.1 31.2 Year:Quarter 78 1200.7 57448 45033.8 5.4 33.0 Quarter:Area 3 238.3 57445 44795.5 1.1 33.4 Tweedie Model Df Deviance Resid. Df Resid. Dev Explained Deviance (%) Explained Model (%) NULL 57561 51121.8 Year 26 8864.4 57535 42257.4 28.9 17.3 Quarter 3 699.7 57532 41557.7 2.3 18.7 Area 1 5980.3 57531 35577.5 19.5 30.4 Target 5 14383.6 57526 21193.8 46.8 58.5 Year:Quarter 78 335.2 57448 20858.6 1.1 59.2 Quarter:Area 3 439.3 57445 20419.4 1.4 60.1
51 Table 2 5 Model comparison based on the results of Pearsons Correlation for the predicted CPUEs of blue shark caught by Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 2008. Model Obs erved v ersus Pred icted Dispersion Delta log (CPUE model) 0.70 0.55 Negative Binomial 0.56 1.44 Tweedie 0.77 0.45
52 Table 2 6 Nominal and standardized CPUE for blue shark caught by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 2008. Year CPUE nominal CPUE Tweedie SE CV (%) CPUE Binomial Negative SE C V (%) CPUE Delta log SE CV (%) 1978 0.11 0.03 0.004 11 2.71 0.477 18 0.11 0.028 26 1979 0.08 0.02 0.003 17 1.19 0.045 4 0.09 0.022 25 1980 0.19 0.04 0.003 8 1.58 0.123 8 0.16 0.027 17 1981 0.12 0.02 0.003 12 1.98 0.254 13 0.08 0.019 23 1982 0.12 0.03 0.002 7 1.47 0.072 5 0.08 0.016 20 1983 0.13 0.03 0.003 8 1.48 0.092 6 0.08 0.019 22 1984 0.12 0.04 0.002 7 2.48 0.308 12 0.11 0.028 25 1985 0.10 0.03 0.003 12 2.11 0.283 13 0.15 0.034 23 1986 0.11 0.04 0.003 9 2.10 0.216 10 0.13 0.023 18 1987 0.10 0 .04 0.003 8 1.96 0.167 9 0.16 0.040 25 1988 0.12 0.04 0.002 5 1.79 0.118 7 0.10 0.024 25 1989 0.09 0.03 0.003 12 1.86 0.145 8 0.10 0.022 22 1990 0.05 0.01 0.001 7 1.01 0.999 12 0.08 0.013 19 1991 0.11 0.04 0.003 9 1.75 0.152 9 0.10 0.016 15 1992 0.06 0.02 0.004 17 2.54 0.382 15 0.09 0.021 24 1993 0.02 0.01 0.003 11 1.12 0.247 11 0.08 0.017 21 1994 0.08 0.02 0.003 14 1.35 0.070 5 0.07 0.019 28 1995 0.07 0.04 0.003 7 3.18 0.372 12 0.09 0.015 16 1996 0.06 0.05 0.004 7 1.00 0.000 0 0.11 0.017 15 1997 0.12 0.04 0.003 8 1.62 0.084 5 0.17 0.025 15 1998 0.15 0.06 0.003 5 4.43 0.574 13 0.16 0.018 11 1999 0.07 0.03 0.002 7 1.52 0.048 3 0.07 0.012 17 2000 0.08 0.03 0.001 4 1.38 0.028 2 0.07 0.008 12 2001 0.16 0.07 0.002 3 1.97 0.079 4 0.37 0.021 6 2002 0 .37 0.06 0.002 3 1.67 0.066 4 0.30 0.019 6 2003 0.30 0.05 0.001 7 1.21 0.041 5 0.21 0.011 7 2004 0.26 0.07 0.002 3 2.31 0.122 5 0.29 0.015 5 2005 0.36 0.07 0.002 3 2.16 0.095 4 0.37 0.021 6 2006 0.41 0.06 0.002 3 1.64 0.069 4 0.37 0.021 6 2007 0.27 0. 07 0.003 4 1.93 0.112 6 0.38 0.065 17 2008 0.31 0.09 0.006 5 1.68 0.235 4 0.25 0.088 19
53 Figure 2 1 Proposed models for blue shark migration in South Atlantic Ocean. Red arrows represents the two -stock model proposed by Legat (2001) and blue arrows the one-stock model proposed by Hazin et al. (2000 a ).
54 Figure 2 2 Distribution of the longline sets carried out by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet in the southwest Atla ntic Ocean, from 1978 2008. The black circle indicates the area of Rio Grande Rise. Brazil Santos s Santa Catarina
55 Figure 2 3 Catch location and density (in number) of blue sharks measured and sexed by sub area (I, II, and III) in the s outhwest Atlantic Ocean, from 2006 2008. Brazil I I I I II
56 Figure 2 4 Mean number of sets ( SE) per month carried out by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet between 1978 and 2008.
57 Figure 2 5 Dendrogram o f six clusters of longline sets from the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fishery showing Euclidian distance between clusters. Cluster 1= albacore; Cluster 2= yellowfin tuna; Cluster 3= other teleosts; Cluster 4= swordfish; Cluster 5= blue shark; and Clus ter 6= bigeye tuna
58 Figure 2 6 Spatial distribution of fishing effort (number of sets) for Cluster 5 by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 2008 Brazil
59 Figure 2 7 Yearly frequency distribution of the 6 clusters reflecting the targeting strategy in the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet from 1978 to 2008. Cluster 1= albacore; Cluster 2= yellowfin tuna; Cluster 3= other teleosts; Cluster 4= swo rdfish; Cluster 5= blue shark; and Cluster 6= bigeye tuna.
60 Figure 2 8 Proportion of positive catches (=success) of blue sharks caught by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet in the southwester n Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 2008
61 Figure 2 9 Value of likelihood function changing the power parameter ( p ) of the Tweedie model for CPUE standardization of blue shark caught by Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet in the s outhwest Atlantic Ocean, from 1978 2008.
62 Figure 2 10 Histogram of standard residuals (left panel) and Quantile quantile (QQ) plots of the deviance residuals (right panel ) of the models fitting blue shark catches. Delta lognormal (A), Negative binomial (B), and Tweedie (C) models. A C B
63 Figure 2 11 Scaled nominal CPUE and standardized CPUE using a Tweedie distribution of blue shark caught by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet, from 1978 2008. The scaled index is the same index normalized to a mean of one.
64 Figure 2 12 Quarterly mean FL ( SE) (bars) and CPUE ( SE) (lines) of female blue sharks by subareas and blocks of 5o latitude, obtained from the Brazilian Observer Program, aboard Brazilian pelagic tuna longline vessels, between 2006 and 2008. Subarea I ( 50N 150S), Subarea II ( 160S 300S), Subarea III ( 310S 450S) 5 0 N 0 0 S 1 0 S 5 0 S 16 0 S 20 0 S 21 0 S 25 0 S 31 0 S 35 0 S 36 0 S 40 0 S 6 0 S 1 0 0 S 11 0 S 15 0 S 26 0 S 30 0 S 41 0 S 45 0 S
65 Figure 2 13 Quarterly mean FL ( SE) (bars) and CPUE ( SE) (lines) of male blue sharks by subareas and by blocks of 5o of latitude, obtained from the Brazilian Observer Program, aboard Brazilian pelagic tuna longline vessels, between 2006 and 2008. Subarea I ( 50N 150S), Subarea II ( 160S 300S), Sub area III ( 310S 450S) 5 0 N 0 0 S 1 0 S 5 0 S 6 0 S 1 0 0 S 11 0 S 15 0 S 16 0 S 20 0 S 21 0 S 25 0 S 26 0 S 30 0 S 31 0 S 35 0 S 36 0 S 40 0 S 41 0 S 45 0 S
66 CHAPTER 3 SPATIAL PREDICTIONS OF BLUE SHARK CPUE AND CATCH PROBABILITY OF JUVENILES IN THE SOU THWESTERN ATLANTIC O CEAN Introduction There is a growing concern about population depletion of apex fish predators and on the impacts this ma y have on marine ecosystems (Pauly et al ., 1998; Stevens et al ., 2000). These concerns are particularly grave in relation to sharks due to their biological characteristics, which render them vulnerable to overexploitation (Cailliet et al., 2005). Review s of world shark fisheries provided by Bonfil (1994) and Shotton (1999) documented areas where commercial catches of sharks have been declining, such as in the northeast Atlantic (Pawson and Vince, 1999) and in Japan (Nakano, 1999). The blue shark, Prionace glauca (Carcharhinidae), is one of the widest ranging, large, open ocean predators, and is probably the most abundant of all pelagic sharks in the global oceans (McKenzie and Tibbo, 1964; Draganik and Pelczarski, 1984; Nakano and Seki, 2003). Although b lue sharks are caught with a variety of fishing gears in the Atlantic Ocean, pelagic longline fisheries that target tunas and swordfish account for the majority of the blue shark catches (Aires -da -Silva, 2008). M a nagement of large pelagic species, such a s the blue shark, is difficult because their highly migratory nature results in them crossing through national and international waters. The management of sharks, tunas and billfishes of the Atlantic Ocean falls upon the International Commission for the C onservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). In 2008, ICCAT carried out a stock assessment for the Atlantic blue shark (Anonymous, 2008). Although the general conclusion of the assessment was that blue shark stocks in the Atlantic Ocean seemed to be in a sustain able condition, probably at levels above Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), the results were interpreted with considerable
67 caution due to data deficiencies. In order to reduce the uncertainty involved in the blue shark stock assessment, ICCAT recognized that it w as necessary to better understand the geographical distribution of blue sharks, to identify the main areas of occurrence relative to different size classes, and to determine the influence of environmental factors on catches of blue sharks. Environme ntal factors are known to influence the distribution of pelagic fishery resources, such as tunas (e.g. Laevastu and Rosa, 1963; Sharp et al., 1983), and sharks and swordfish (e.g. Bigelow et al., 1999). Accurate stock assessments, especially for highly mig ratory species, require the ability to differentiate changes in abundance from altered catch vulnerability resulting from the natural variability in oceanographic conditions (Brill et al., 1998). A number of authors have highlighted the importance of incor porating environmental variables into stock assessment models (e.g. Ottersen and Sundbuy, 1995; Myers, 1998; Daskalov, 1999; Agnew et al., 2002; Brander, 2003). However, the inclusion of spatial, temporal, and environmental variables in the analysis of fis hing performance and fish population dynamics remains complex (Bigelow et al ., 1999). These factors interact with each other and combine to give rise to constraints with far -reaching influences upon the physiological performance of living organisms, ultima tely affecting their ability to grow, migrate, survive and reproduce (Claireaux and Lefranois, 2007). Furthermore, statistical analyses often assume a linear relationship between fishing performance and environmental variables, when actually they are very likely to be nonlinear (Bigelow et al., 1999). Despite the advantages of linear regression techniques in determining model parameters and their interpretation, the method has little flexibility due to its relatively restricted range of
68 application (Chong and Wang, 1997). To overcome such difficulties, Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) have been used to identify, characterize, and estimate the relationships between extrinsic factors and catch rates of certain fish species (Walsh et al. 2002; Zagaglia et al ., 2004; Damalas et al ., 2007; Mourato et al ., 2008. GAMs (Hastie and Tibshirani, 1986, 1990) are semi -parametric extensions of GLMs (Generalized Linear Models) and their major assumptions are that the functions are additive and that the components are smooth (Guisan et al., 2002). The interest in using GAMs is normally justified when the effects of multiple, independent variables need to be modeled nonparametrically (Maunder and Punt, 2004). Modeling spatial prediction can also be a useful tool for bet ter understanding the influence of the marine ecosystem on species distribution and, consequently, for the implementation of management and conservation measures. However, the use of spatial prediction techniques based on interpolation algorithms are generally very data intensive, requiring both a large amount of, and well distributed, data. This requirement is rarely attainable with fisheries data, especially when the species of interest is not the target species. This problem was partially overcome by Lehmann et al (2002a ) with the development of a Generalized Regression Analysis and Spatial Prediction (GRASP) method, which basically consists of using GAMs to generate predictions in a grid format. GRASP has solved a significant problem in spatial model ing because it has introduced a way of exporting the statistical models to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software (GIS, Arcview v.9.2, ESRI, California). With this tool, it is possible to model statistical relationships between a variable of interes t (i.e., blue shark catch) and environmental, spatial, and temporal
69 variables, and then to make spatial predictions based on the predictor variables (Lehmann et al ., 2002 b ). GRASP can also aid in understanding the structure of a specific stock, such as pre dicting abundance and spatial distribution of individuals in different maturity stages and age classes. Assessing this type of information is paramount for fishery managers to improve plans for sustainable harvests (Laidig et al., 2007). In the present study, a GRASP analysis was applied to catch-per unit effort (CPUE) data of blue sharks to examine their distribution and abundance in relation to environmental factors in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean. CPUE was generated by blue sharks caught by the Brazi lian pelagic longline fleet between 1997 and 2008. In addition, size distribution of blue sharks caught in the pelagic longline fleet of Brazil was used to spatially model the proportion of juvenile blue sharks in the catches between 2006 and 2008. Materi al and Methods Fishing area Brazilian tuna longline sets were distributed along a wide region of the equatorial and southwestern Atlantic Ocean (Figure 3 -1 ). However, since the prediction capacity of the model is considerably decreased in areas with low d ensity of data, the analysis was constrained to a narrower area, ranging from 60W to 15W longitude and from 5N to 45S latitude (Figure 3 -1 ). Within this general area, the equatorial waters from about 4N to 20S are mainly under the influence of the s outh Equatorial Current, which is a broad, westward-flowing current that extends from the surface to the depth of 100 m (Mayer et al ., 1998). This area is also characterized by the presence of seamounts (Cadeia Norte do Brasil) and oceanic islands (Fernand o de Noronha and Atol da
70 Rocas), as well as by upwelling along the equator driven by the equatorial divergence (Mayer et al ., 1998, Travassos, 1999) (Figure 3 -2 ). Between 20o and 21oS there are also several shallow seamounts that are part of the Victoria-T rindade Ridge (Figure 3 2 ). The area to the south of 21oS, in turn, is characterized by the presence of a convergence zone between the warm, coastal, southward-flowing Brazil Current and the cold, northward-flowing Malvinas/Falkland Current (Garcia, 1997; Seeliger et al., 1997). Further to the south, from about 30oS to 35oW, there is the Rio Grande Rise, a large seismic ridge with depths ranging between 300 and 4,000 m. It is located between the Mid -Atlantic Ridge and the Brazilian continental shelf, approxi mately 600 n m off the southern Brazilian coast (Figure 3 2 ). The Rio Grande Rise, together with the other seamounts and oceanic islands located closer to the equator, represent very important fishing grounds for commercially exploited pelagic species in Br azil (Azevedo, 2003). This is probably a consequence of higher biological productivity in the water around these rises and seamounts resulting from the interaction between the oceanic currents and the bottom relief, creating areas of eddies and upwelling ( Hekinian, 1982). Catch D ata Catch data were obtained from 44,506 longline sets carried out by the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fleet, including both national and chartered vessels, from 1997 to 2008 (Table 3 -1 ). Logbook data included individual records containing the vessel identification, hour of the longline set, location of fishing ground (latitude and longitude), effort (number of hooks), date, and the number of fish caught in each fishing set. Proportion of J uvenile D ata Size class data (fork lengt h, FL, in cm) of blue sharks were obtained through the Brazilian onboard observer program on chartered longline fleets operating in the
71 southwestern Atlantic Ocean, from January 2006 to December 2008. During these operations, a total of 11,932 blue sharks were measured. As with catch, areas with inadequate data on spatial distribution and density were excluded from the analysis (Figure 3 3 ). To evaluate the spatial distribution by length, two FL -classes were established following Mejuto and Garc a -Cort z (2 004): 1) juveniles, with FL <119 cm; and 2) adults, with FL cm. These data were then transformed into proportion of juveniles and adults per 1 by 1 square, assuming a binomial distribution. Environmental and Spatial V ariables Sea surface temperature data for the period between 1997 and 2008 were obtained f rom the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites. This data set is produced and distributed by the Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PODAAC) of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ ). The chlorophyll provided by SeaWiFS Project, from Goddard Space Flight Center/ NASA (http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/SeaWiFS/ ). Images were turned into numeric al data (in mg/m3) with the GDRA2XYZ program provided by the Phoenix Training Consultants (Phoenix Training Consults, 834 Elysian Fields Ave., New Orleans, Louisiana 70117). These data, with an original resolution of 9 km x 9 km were used to construct dat a bas ed on 1 1, by day, month, year, latitude and longitude. The distance of the catch location from the Brazilian coast or oceanic islands was calculated according to the methodology proposed by Damalas et al (2007), which
72 locates the nearest land pi xel (bottom depth >0) on a grid map and estimates the distance between the two points in kilometers, after correcting for the spheroid shape of the Earth. Generalized Regression Analysis and Spatial Prediction (GRASP) GRASP (version 3.2; Lehmann et al ., 2 002) was used to model the spatial prediction of CPUE (number of blue shark individuals caught per 1,000 hooks ) and the proportion of juveniles as a function of environmental variables. In the GRASP approach, spatial predictions are obtained through the relationships between a response variable (i.e., CPUE or proportion of juveniles) and selected predictor variables (i.e., environmental and spatial factors) by fitting a GAM model ( Yee and Mitchell, 1991) The general formulation of the GAM used in the present study was expressed as follows: CPUE or Proportion of juveniles = a + s1(x1) + sj(xj) + e W here a is a constant, s1 is the effect of the smoothing function for the independent variable x1 and e is the random error of the function. In the GRASP analysis, two types of distributions are used: 1) a Poisson distribution with the log-link function for the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet CPUE data; and 2) a binomial distribution with the link function logit for the proportion of juveniles. Smoothing spline functions ( natural cubic) were used to adjust the non -linear effects of the model (Cleveland and Delvin, 1988), with df = 8 for the CPUE model and df = 4 for the proportion of juveniles model. Two methods were used to evaluate the consistency of the final models (CPUE and proportion of juvenile s ): 1) a linear regression between randomly chosen observed values of relative abundance and the predicted values generated by the model, using the included independent variables as input (simple validation); an d 2) a cross -
73 validation to assess the goodness of fit. The cross validation for the Poisson model was achieved by calculating the correlation between the observed and predicted values using the Pearson correlation coefficient, whereas for the binomial model (proportion of juvenile s model) the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) test was used. According to Fielding and Bell (1997), ROC indicates the model performance independently of the apparently arbitrary probability threshold required in proportion m odels at which the presence of a target feature is accepted. In the present study, a total of 5,000 and 2,500 samples randomly chosen from the total fishing data set (CPUE) (besides the 44,506 longline sets used in the model) and the size class data set (b esides the 11,932 measurements used in the model), respectively, were used in the cross -validation (i.e., but were not included in the process of the model generation itself) Predictors were selected using a stepwise procedure, going in both directions (f orward and backward) from a full model and removing predictors according to an F -test ( The relative effect of each xj variable over the dependent variable of interest was assessed using the distribution of partial residuals. According to Neter et al (1989), the plot of the partial residuals tends to show the nature of the relat ionship between the independent variables and the residuals, which were determined for each significant variable. The relative influence of each effect was then assessed on the basis of the values normalized with respect to the standard deviation of the partial residuals. The partial residual plots also contain the 95% confidence intervals, as well as tick marks on the abscissa showing the location and density of data points.
74 Results C PUE M odel The final model for the Brazilian pelagic tuna longline fi shery CPUE consisted of six of the eight input variables: latitude, longitude, sea surface temperature, chlorophyll (all as continuous variables), and year and month. This model explained 52 % of the total deviance ( r2= 0.52) (Table 3 2 ). Th e validation and the cross validation indicated that predictions were reasonably well fitted, with values ranging between 0.49 and 0.73 (Table 3 2 ). The relative contribution from each variable in the total explained deviance for the selected model show ed that latitude (34%) and longitude (24%) were the most important factors, followed by year (15%) and month (10%). Among environmental variables the sea surface temperature (9%) was the most significant, followed by chlorophyll (Figure 3 4 ). Partial response curves showing the effects of predictor variables on the model indicated that there was a much higher CPUE probability of blue sharks between 20S and 40S of latitude, decreasing northward, towards the equator (Figure 3 5 ). The influence of longitude on blue shark CPUE was also positive between 50 and 60W, decreased to a minimum at about 40 W, and then increased and reached a positive peak at 20W (Figure 3 5 ). The year variable reflected some inter a nnual variability of CPUE data, but overall showed a positive influence after 2001. The factor of month revealed relatively level CPUE from January through May, reaching a minimum in March (Figure 3 5 ). CPUE then increased from June to August, when it reached a peak, and then declined through December The influence of sea surface temperature on blue shark CPUE, in turn, showed a positive peak at about 18C, decreasing at lower or higher temperatures (Figure 3 -5 ). Finally, the positive effect of chlorophyl l
75 concentration showed a bimodal distribution, with one peak at about 0.7 mg/m3 and a second, and continual, increase from 1.2 mg/m3 to a maximum of ~2.1 mg/m3 (Figure 3 5 ). The map of CPUE spatial predictions showed that the spatial CPUE probabilities we re closely related to latitude, with two distinct areas of high CPUE probabilities (Figure 36) One area was located close to the southern coast of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, while the second, larger area was located in a more oceanic region in the vi cinity of the Rio Grande Rise, between 25S and 35S of latitude (Figure 3 6 ). In addition, an area of moderate CPUE probability was located off the central coast of Brazil around 10S. Proportion of J uvenile M odel The final model for the proportion of ju venile s explained 44% of the deviance (Table 3 2 ) and consisted of five variables (Figure 3 7 ). Latitude (34%) and longitude (25%) were the most important factors followed by month (17%). Among the environmental variables, sea surface temperature (13%) was the most important, followed by chlorophyll (11%). Through partial response curves, the proportion of juvenile blue shark s was observed to be positively associated with higher latitudes, particularly to the south of 30 S, and decreased northward (Figure 3 8 ). The influence of longit ude on the proportion of juvenile blue sharks was relatively stable from about 28o to 48oW, decreasing towards lower or higher longitudes. Month was associated with a higher proportion of juvenile blue sharks from May to August. The positive influence of s ea surface temperature on the proportion of juvenile blue sharks was highest between 12 and 15C, and was negatively associated with higher temperatures (Figure 3 8 ). The proportion of juvenile
76 blue sharks in the CPUE was negatively associated with low chl orophyll a concentrations (0.5 to 0.8 mg/ m3) and positively associated with an increase in chlorophyll 1.2 mg/ m3 (Figure 3 -8 ). The spatial prediction map for the proportion of juvenile blue sharks in the catch showed that juveniles had a much higher probability of comprising the catches in pelagic longline sets south of 35oS and between 25oW and 50oW (Figure 3 9 ). The proportion of juveniles in the catch also was high in a very discrete area close to the mouth of the Prata River (Rio da Prata), Argentina (~36S and 55W). Overall, the proportion of juvenile blue sharks was very low over the majority of the Brazilian coast (from 5oN to 30oS) compared with more southern areas (Figure 3 -9 ). Discussion Maury et al. (2001) noted that the relationship between CPUE and species abundance is generally non-linear. Using GAMs, Bigelow et al (1999) also observed strong non -linear correlations between catch indices, and fishing and oceanographic variables for swordfish and blue shark in the North Pacific O cean. Zagaglia et al. (2004) found this non linearity as well when analyzing the relationship between CPUE and environmental variables for bigeye tuna ( Thunnus obesus ), yellowfin tuna ( T. albacares ), and albacore ( T. alalunga ) caught in the southwestern eq uatorial Atlantic Ocean. In the present study, the spatial prediction of blue shark CPUE achieved by the GRASP model was well fit to the data, since the explained variation by the predictors and the cross validation values were equal to 52% and 0.73, resp ectively. The model for the spatial distribution of the proportion of juveniles also showed a good adjustment, with the variation explained by the predictor and the cross validation values being equal
77 to 44% and 0.57, respectively. Other studies involving GRASP have produced comparatively similar cross validation values, ranging from 0.94 ROC (Lehmann et al. 2002a), 0.65 to 0.98 ROC (Lehmann et al. 2002b) and 0.61 to 0.72 ROC (Zaniewski et al. 2002). A variety of factors, such as marine currents, thermal fronts, latitude, distance from coast, and sea surface temperature, are known to influence the distribution and abundance of blue sharks ( Compagno, 1984; Carey and Scharold, 1990; Hazin et al ., 1994 a ; Bigelow et al ., 1999; Walsh and Kleiber, 2001; Mourat o et al., 2008. The GRASP model demonstrated the strong influence of spatial factors (latitude and longitude) in both the CPUE and the size distribution of blue sharks in the equatorial and South Atlantic Ocean, similar to studies by Bigelow et al (1999) and Walsh and Kleiber (2001) in the North Pacific Ocean. Montealegre-Quijano and Vooren (2010 ) noted higher blue shark CPUE values in higher latitudes (>30S) based on a large proportion of juveniles and adult males, while adult females were more abundant in lower latitudes (<25S). Mourato et al (2008 also observed higher blue shark catch rates in higher latitudes. Compagno (1984) stated that the blue shark generally prefers relatively cold waters, between 7C and 16C, although it tolerates waters over 21C. In the North Pacific Ocean, Nakano and Nagasawa (1996) observed the presence of blue sharks in areas with sea surface temperatures (SST) ranging between 1322C. Bigelow et al (1999) and Walsh and Kleiber (2001) reported high CPUEs for North Pacifi c blue sharks with SSTs around 16C. In the North Atlantic Ocean, Casey and Hoenig (1977) reported blue shark catches with SST ranging between 12 and 27C. Stevens (1990)
78 concluded that SST has a positive effect on abundance of female blue sharks in the eastern North Atlantic. In southern Brazilian waters, highest blue shark CPUE was found in cold waters (Mourato et al ., 2008). Montealegre -Quijano (2007) also showed that blue shark CPUE increases with decreasing SST in the southwestern Atlantic, with fema les being more abundant in warmer waters (>27C SST), while higher CPUE for juveniles and males were associated with colder waters (<18C SST). Hazin (1993) also noted that the abundance of males in the equatorial Atlantic tended to decline with an increas e in temperature, while females showed an inverse trend. In this study, sea surface temperature showed a positive influence in models for both CPUE and proportion of juveniles in relation to relatively cold waters (between 12 and 18C). Off the southern coast of Brazil, colder waters are generally associated at the point of the Subtropical Convergence (SC), which moves northward during the second and third quarters of the year (Olson et al ., 1988; Garcia, 1997). The SC is caused by the mixture of tropical warm waters of the Brazil Current with cold waters brought by the Malvinas C urrent. It is possible, therefore, that the higher blue shark CPUE, as well as the higher proportion of juveniles, was related to the position of the SC and the various biological phenomena associated with its front (i.e., upwelling), than to actual changes in water temperature (Mourato et al ., 2008). According to Montu et al (1997) and Odebrecht and Garcia (1997), the SC front is associated with water masses rich in nutrients that enhance phytoplankton development (greater chlorophyll concentrations), which in turn promotes higher primary and secondary production. This phenomenon could increase the amount of potential prey for blue shark, such as squid (Illex argentinus ) (Zavala-Camin, 1987; Vaske and Rincn, 1998), which stay in the
79 region until the end of this period of the year (Santos and Haimovici, 2002). This might also explain why high chlorophyll CPUE and on the proportion of juveniles. Coincidently, both models indicated a higher blue shark CPUE and proportion of juveniles during months when the SC is more intense in the area. A number of shark species tend to segregate by sex and/or size during their life cycle (Hoenig and Gruber, 1990), and this has been broadly documented fo r blue sharks in the Atlantic Ocean (Hazin et al., 1998; Koh ler et al., 2002; Fitzmaurice et al., 2004), Pacific Ocean (Strasburg, 1958; Nakano, 1994) and Indian Ocean (Gubanov and Grigor yev 1975). Stevens and Wayte (1999), for example, observed that blue shark body size decreased with an increase in latitude. In the North Pacific Ocean, Nakano (1994) found a higher proportion of juveniles in higher latitudes (>35N), which coincides with the results of the spatial prediction map generated in the present s tudy for blue sharks in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. In both spatial prediction maps for blue shark CPUE and proportion of juveniles, there were two areas of higher density, one close to the shore and another in a more oceanic region. As discussed abov e, the higher CPUE and proportion of juveniles in oceanic regions could be related to the subtropical convergence zone and to its regional influence on trophic dynamics. The higher abundance and proportion of juveniles in areas close to shore, in turn, mig ht be explained by seasonal upwelling that occurs at the shelf -break off the southern coast of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay (Castelao et al ., 2004). This upwelling could also attract blue sharks to an increased abundance of potential prey, similar to th e situation described for the SC. Another factor that might be
80 causing the higher CPUE and proportion of juvenile blue sharks in the area close to shore in southern latitudes is the Malvinas C urrent. According to Walluda et al (2001), the Malvinas C urrent which originates from the Antarctic Circumpolar C urrent, flows in a northerly direction along the continental shelf. It transports sub-Antarctic waters, which are cold and rich in nutrients, again maximizing the availability of food. Weidner and Arocha ( 1999) also observed that other large oceanic predators tend to migrate from the tropics to this area, due to the higher availability of nutrients and associated increase in prey base. In addition to the water enrichment resulting from nutrients brought in by the Malvinas C urrent and the shelf -break upwelling, this area may also receive an important input of nutrients from coastal discharge, such as from Lagoa dos Patos and from the Plata River (Walluda et al ., 2001). The most recent evaluation of blue shar k stock status by ICCAT determined that the current exploitation levels are sustainable (Anonymous, 2008). Blue sharks are becoming increasingly targeted by several fleets, however, particularly longliners that are pursuing swordfish as their main target species, such as those based in Santos and Itajai in the States of Sao Paulo and Santa Catarina, respectively (UNIVALI/CTTMAR, 2007). Such a trend could result in a significant increase in blue shark fishing mortality and should, therefore, be closely moni tored. Azevedo (2003) and Mourato et al (2008) also observed a change in the spatial distribution of the fishing effort in recent years, which could result in an increased fishing pressure on blue shark stocks in the South Atlantic. Specifically, since 2000 the Santos and Itajai fleets started to concentrate their fishing efforts in areas near Rio Grande Rise, where the blue shark CPUE is much higher. Such a change in fishing strategy would also probably increase the mortality of
81 juveniles, since these wat ers seem to be an important habitat in the early life stages of the species, as inferred by the spatial prediction map.
82 Table 3 1 Distribution of annual effort (number of sets and % of total sets) from 1997 to 2008 for the Brazilian pelagic longline fl eet. Year Number of sets % 1997 1,497 3.4 1998 1,894 4.3 1999 4,664 10.7 2000 6,322 14.5 2001 6,627 15.2 2002 4,843 11.1 2003 2,540 5.8 2004 4,333 10.0 2005 4,413 10.1 2006 2,023 4.6 2007 2,995 6.9 2008 1,395 3.2
83 Table 3 2 Stepwise selec ted GAM models for the spatial predictions of blue shark and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) values, given for the validation and crossvalidation. The s is the spline smoother. Response variable Final Model r 2 (%) Validation Cross Validation M odel for Brazilian pelagic longline data: CPUE (number/ 1000 hooks) year + month + s (latitude) + s (longitude) + s (sea surface temperature) + s (chlorophyll concentration) 52 0.64 0.73 Model for proportion juveniles in Brazilian pelagic longline catches: % Juveniles month + s (latitude) + s (longitude) + s (chlorophyll concentration) + s (sea surface temperature) 44 0.49 0.57
84 Figure 14 Distribution of the fishing sets carried out by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean from 1997 to 2008. Brazil Excluded area
85 Figure 3 2 Main seamounts off the coast of Brazil : North chain (A); Fernando de Noron ha Archipelago (B); Atol das Rocas (C); Vitoria Trindade (D); and Rio Grande Rise (E). Red arrow represents southward-flowing Brazil Current and the yellow arrow the cold, northward-flowing, Malvinas/ Falkland Current with the Subtropical Convergence (SC) Bathymetric map obtained from: NOAA Satellite and Information Service (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/ngdc.html)
86 Figure 15 Location and density of blue sharks measured by onboard observers on Brazilian pelagic longliners operating in the equatorial and southwestern Atlantic Ocean, from 2006 to 2008. Brazil Excluded area
87 Figure 16 Contribution of each variable added to the final model (model contribution) for the CPUE (sharks/1000 hooks) of blue sharks caught by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet between 1997 and 2008.
88 Figure 3 5 P artial response curves showing the effects of the predictor variables added to the model for CPUE of blue sharks caught in the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet operating in the equatorial and southwestern Atlantic Ocean from 1997 to 2008. Dashed lines represent 95% confidence limits. Month Latitude ( 0 ) Sea surface temperature ( 0 C) Chlorophyll concentration (mg/m 3 ) Longitude ( 0 ) Year
89 Figure 3 6 Spatial prediction of blue shark CPUE (sharks/1000 hooks) caught by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet from 1997 to 2008 in the equatorial and southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Brazil
90 Figure 3 7 Contribution of each variable added to the final model (model contribution) for the proportion of juvenile blue sharks caught by the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet between 2006 and 2 008.
91 Figure 3 8 Partial response curves showing the effects of the predictor variables added to the model for the proportion of juvenile blue sharks in the equatorial and southwestern Atlantic Ocean from 2006 to 2008. Dashed lines represent 95% confidence limits. Month Latitude ( 0 ) Longitude ( 0 ) Sea surface temp erature ( 0 C) Chlorophyll concentration (mg/m 3 )
92 Figure 3 9 Spatial prediction for the proportion of juvenile blue sharks observed in the catch of Brazilian tuna longliners operating in the equatorial and southwestern Atlantic Ocean from January 2006 to December 2008. Brazil
93 CHA PTER 4 GENERAL DISCUSSION A ND CONCLUSION International shark management remains challenging. For decades, the efficiency of management plans for fish stocks in the oceans has been exhaustingly debated. Beyond the difficulty of obtaining reliable data on li fe histories and catch and effort, there also exist complex relationships between environmental variables and the spatial distribution of the stocks and hence the fisheries. In this final chapter, key points from previous chapters on catch rates, catch com position, spatial distribution, and relationships between distribution, abundance, and environmental factors are summarized and integrated for the blue shark, the most common pelagic shark species caught off the Brazilian coast. The desire is that these re sults will improve the quantity and quality of scientific information available for this species, which is essential in assessing the current impacts of commercial fisheries on its sustainability. Fishing Strategies The Brazilian pelagic longline fishery c ould be considered a multi -species or mixed fishery, where several species are caught simultaneously. Ignoring the mixed nature of fisheries may result in inappropriate management; for instance, fishing for only one species could lead to discards of another. Both the scientific community and decisionmakers have acknowledged the need to account explicitly for the mixed nature of fisheries in advice and management, and actions must be taken in that respect. In order to improve the relative abundance analysi s, and consequently obtain more reliable population status, scientists need to explore the effect of targeting, which is directed fishing effort aimed at one species over another. Since CPUE is assumed to be proportional to stock abundance, changes in tar geting strategies within a CPUE
94 time -series can introduce bias. Different approaches have been proposed to identify components of mixed fisheries based on catch and/or effort data. One approach has been based on cluster analysis. In the literature reviewed, target species were determined only from catch data using cluster analysis (He et al., 1997). In the present study, target species were determined using a multivariate approach, combining species composition, gear, fishing location, and spatial and temporal information (Chapter 2). On this basis, the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet was shown to be targeting six species, among them blue shark and swordfish. Interest in catching blue shark has increased primarily because of rising demand for fins by Asian markets and for meat in the Brazilian market, while swordfish has been targeted in response to its high price in the international market. In conclusion, the cluster analysis based on catch composition seems to have appropriately identified changes in the targeting strategy of the Brazilian pelagic longline fleet over the past 30 years. This is an important tool that can be used to identify the species targeted in each fishing set, even in databases that lack data on fishing operations. Models for Standardi zing CPUE Catch per unit effort (CPUE) is used as index of relative abundance of a fish stock The ability to use catch rate data as an index therefore depends on being able to adjust (i.e., remove) the impact of changes in catch rates over time due to fac tors other than abundance, such as season, area, gear configuration, targeting strategy, and environmental factors, among others. This process is often referred to as CPUE standardization. A common way to perform the standardization is using generalized linear model (GLM) analysis. However, any quantitative analysis of fisheries data, such as GLM, must consider the statistical distribution of the data. Unfortunately, there are
95 typically two major issues in applying linear methods to catch data. First, the data frequently contain a large number of zeros representing fishing activities that failed to catch any individuals of the species in question. Second, the data are often highly left skewed (due to the occurrence of relatively few high values). In the pr esent study, CPUE was modeled in a two -step process. First, a delta distribution was used and the non-zero values were then assumed to be lognormally distributed (delta lognormnal distribution). Second, negative binomial and Tweedie distributions were emp loyed with the fit of the Tweedie distribution slightly better than the others (Chapter 2). Many scientific working groups (i.e. ICCAT) have agreed that the effect of fishing strategy can introduce bias into a CPUE time -series, and have therefore recommended an exploration of this specific problem. In the present study, fishing strategy (i.e., target as identified through cluster analysis) was incorporated as a factor in the GLM standardization. Modeling blue shark CPUE using different distributions show ed the significance of the factor target, which might indicate the usefulness of its inclusion in CPUE -standardization in the future. The Tweedie standardized catch rate oscillated without a clear trend across the years until 1995, at which time monofila ment gear was introduced to target swordfish. However, South Atlantic blue shark stock was not strongly affected by this change in targeting strategy. This was supported by the latest stock assessment for blue sharks done by ICCAT, which indicated that blue shark stocks in the Atlantic are not overfished and that overfishing is not occurring (Anonymous, 2008). This sustainable level for blue shark abundance in the Southwest Atlantic might also be due to the high resiliency observed for this species (Aires d a -Silva, 2008).
96 Spatial and Temporal Distribution in Catch C omposition In the present study, characterization of size composition showed strong spatial and temporal variation in blue shark catches along the Southwest Atlantic (Chapter 3), but there was no analytical proof of blue shark migration among regions. The spatial structure of the length frequency distributions presented, however, in combination with previous research (i.e. Hazin et al., 2000 a ; Montealegre-Quijano, 2008), suggests that the blue sha rk population in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean is a unique stock. Spatial P redictions In implementing any management measure, understanding where populations live is fundamental for appropriate geographical targeting of resources and cost effective control. Used appropriately, geographical information systems, remote-sensing and spatial analysis have great potential as tools in fisheries management. Numerous studies have been undertaken using satellite-derived environmental data to predict the distribution and abundance of terrestrial species of plants, but this method has only caught the attention of fishery biologists in recent years. The present study is the first study to use this method to analyze the spatial distribution in the CPUE of a shark species Using GRASP demonstrated that the spatial regression models could predict blue shark distribution relatively well, and clearly better than a non-spatial model. These models also identify environmental variables that are strongly associated with the pres ence or absence of juvenile blue shark s in the catches. Here, for example, the blue shark catch probabilities were highly influenced by sea surface temperature. Of course, correlation is not causation, but such results provide unprecedented information about use of habitat of blue sharks in the southern waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
97 Furthermore, i t is clearly evident that stock and fishery dynamics vary spatially, and this variability should be considered in the assessment and management of fish stocks. As data collection methods improve and expand it will become possible to use spatial analysis tools such as GRASP on a growing number of fish stocks These data can then be analyzed to get a better understanding of the spatial variability of fisheries. Management strategies can then be designed to either exploit this predictable spatial distribution of the catch, or to manage the fisheries in a spatially explicit manner if one species or component (i.e., juveniles) requires protective measures.
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111 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH He graduated from Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco with a b achelor s degree in fisheries engineering in 2006. After completing his b achelor s degree, he began working for the Fisheries Oceanographic Laboratory in a project funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Fisheries. In 2007 he began working toward his masters d egree with the Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the Univer sity of Florida.