Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Shifting baselines and the decline of pelagic sharks in the Gulf of Mexico

Buy Article:

$47.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract

Historical abundances of many large marine vertebrates were tremendously greater than today. However, while pelagic sharks are known to have declined rapidly in the northwest Atlantic in recent years, there, as elsewhere, little is known about the former natural abundances of these species. Here, we compare initial (1950s) and recent (late-1990s) standardized catch rates of pelagic sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, the area where methods of exploitation between these two periods were most comparable. We estimate that oceanic whitetip and silky sharks, formerly the most commonly caught shark species, have declined by over 99 and 90%, respectively. That the former prevalence of oceanic whitetip sharks in this ecosystem is unrecognized today is clear evidence of shifting baselines. Our analysis provides the missing baseline for pelagic sharks in the Gulf of Mexico that is needed for the rational management and restoration of these species.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Fisheries; generalized linear model; marine; overexploitation; pelagic shark assemblage; population; predator; restoration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2004

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more