A Preliminary Investigation of the Reproductive Biology of the Blind Shark, Brachaelurus waddi (Orectolobiformes: Brachaeluridae)

Anne Foged, David Mark Powter

Abstract


Although the focus on shark conservation has increased in recent years, small, economically unimportant species are often overlooked. The blind shark, Brachaelurus waddi, is endemic to eastern Australia and is commonly encountered in commercial fi sheries. However, this is the fi rst study of the species’ reproductive biology. Males were sexually mature at 520-540 mm total length (TL) and all females ≥ 563 mm TL were sexually mature. Only the right ovary was functional and two distinct groupings in follicle size indicated that the reproductive cycle is at least biennial. Reproductive output may be smaller than previously suggested, with an average of four pups per gravid female in this study.

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