Age validation of juvenile Shortfin Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) tagged and marked with oxytetracycline off southern California Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to validate aging results of juvenile Shortfin Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) by vertebral band counts. Vertebrae of 29 juvenile Shortfin Mako marked with oxytetracycline (OTC) were obtained from tag-recapture activities to determine centrum growth-band deposition. Tagging occurred off southern California from 1996 to 2010, and time at liberty of the 29 sharks ranged from 4 months to 4.4 years (mean=1.3 years). Growth information also was obtained from length-frequency modal analyses (MULTIFAN and MIXDIST) by using a 29-year data set of commercial and research catch data, in addition to a tag-recapture growth model (e.g, the GROTAG model). For vertebrae samples used for age validation, shark size at time of release ranged from 79 to 142 cm fork length (FL) and from 98 to 200 cm FL at recapture. Results from band counts of vertebrae distal to OTC marks indicate 2 band pairs (2 translucent and 2 opaque) are formed each year for Shortfin Mako of the size range examined. Lengthfrequency analyses identified 3 ageclass modes. Growth rate estimates from 26.5 to 35.5 cm/year were calculated for the first age-class mode (85 cm FL) and from 22.4 to 28.6 cm/year for the second age-class mode (130 cm FL). Results from the tag-recapture growth model revealed fast growth during time at liberty for tagged fish of the 2 youngest age classes. Collectively, these methods suggest rapid growth of juvenile Shortfin Mako in the southern California study area and indicate biannual deposition of growth bands in vertebrae for the first 5 years.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Wells, R., Smith, S. E., Kohin, S., Freund, E., Spear, N., & Ramon, D. A.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Wells, RJ David||Smith, Susan E||Kohin, Suzanne||Freund, Ellen||Spear, Natalie||Ramon, Darlene A

publication date

  • April 2013