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Ecological features and swimming capabilities of deep-sea sharks from New Zealand
Pinte, N.; Parisot, P.; Martin, U.; Zintzen, V.; De Vleeschouwer, C.; Roberts, C.D.; Mallefet, J. (2020). Ecological features and swimming capabilities of deep-sea sharks from New Zealand. Deep-Sea Res., Part 1, Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 156: 103187.
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part I. Oceanographic Research Papers. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0637; e-ISSN 1879-0119, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Deep-sea sharks; Swimming speed; Stereo-BRUVs; Squaliformes;Bioluminescent; Isolume-followers

Authors  Top 
  • De Vleeschouwer, C., more
  • Roberts, C.D.
  • Mallefet, J., more

    Currently the ecology of deep-water sharks is poorly documented, especially in situ information for these elusive species are lacking. In this study, stereo-Baited Remote Underwater Videos (stereo-BRUVs) were deployed to collect ecological data from New Zealand deep-sea sharks. The results showed differences in abundance between species, with Etmopterus granulosus (Etmopteridae) found in greatest numbers. Moreover, the known depth range increased for Scymnodon macracanthus (Centrophiridae). Deep-sea shark species were generally found to swim at slower cruise speeds (0.36 ± 0.04 m s−1) than their shallow-water counterparts (0.63 ± 0.05 m s−1). However, the swimming speed of deep-sea sharks was clearly not uniform, with some species displaying higher cruise swimming speeds than others. The fastest sharks (Centrophorus harrissoni, Etmopterus granulosus and Etmopterus molleri) had swimming abilities comparable to benthic shallow water sharks (0.48 ± 0.02 m s−1). The higher cruise swimming speed in the family Etmopteridae could be an advantage for these luminous sharks if they follow isolumes to match their ventral light intensity with the down-welling light of their environment. This study revealed that alternative non-destructive methods can be effective for ecological studies of deep-sea marine fauna.

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