Sharks caught in the KwaZulu-Natal bather protection programme, South Africa. 13. The tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier
The current study provides long-term catch rate and biological data for tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier caught in the KwaZulu-Natal bather protection programme. Between 1978 and 2014, 1 760 G. cuvier were caught in nets and between 2007 and 2014, 108 G. cuvier were caught on drumlines. Standardised catch rates increased significantly over time (p < 0.001) for both small (≤180 cm precaudal length, PCL) and large sharks (>180 cm). There was also a significant temporal increase in the mean size of sharks across gear types (p < 0.001). A quasi-Poisson generalised additive mixed model showed that the deployment of drumlines had no significant effect on the catch rate of sharks in nets. The nets, however, caught significantly larger sharks (mean 184.5 cm, SD 39) than did drumlines (mean 138.6 cm, SD 36.5; p < 0.001). The size frequency of the catch was unimodal and females significantly outnumbered males in both gear types. Few young-of-the-year (0.8%) or mature sharks (1.8%) were caught. Only 23 (4.7%) of the 486 sharks tagged and released were recaptured, with the majority (87.0%) of those recaptured <150 km from their original tagging locality. The results from this study suggest an increasing local population trend in G. cuvier along the KwaZulu-Natal coast.
Keywords: CPUE, drumlines, generalised additive mixed model, movement, nets, reproduction