Some shark species seems to be homebodies, like the Spottail shark (carcharhinus sorrah). Tagging studies off Northern Australia have shown that 49% of sharks were recaptured within 50 km of the tagging site. But even some of them seems to got travel fever – like the one shark that was captured 1,116 km away.

Carcharhinus sorrah phuket.JPG
Carcharhinus sorrah by Tassapon KRAJANGDARA – http://www.fishbase.us/photos/thumbnailssummary.php?ID=884#, CC BY 3.0, Link

The Spottail shark is a very common species of requiem sharks and up to 5 ft 3 in -1.6 m- long. It lives in discrete populations on continental and insular shelves in the tropical Indo-Pacific from the East African coast, Madagascar and the Red Sea to India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and northern Australia. Female sharks are mature at two to three years and give birth once a year to a litter of one to eight 20 in -50 cm- long pups (ovoviviparous) in shallow inshore nurseries. Spottail sharks live up to five years (males) or up to seven years (females).

Spottail sharks are targeted for their meat, fins, liver oil and fish meal, but are also “utilized bycatch”, that means they were not the target species, but nevertheless utilized (catch-as-catch-can) instead of thrown back overboard (which they could survive as non-deep-sea-species). They are among the most productive of sharks due to fast growth rates, early maturity and relatively high fecundity. Despite this, the IUCN considers this shark as being near threatened. Why?
Their nursery areas are extremely heavily fished (often with illegal mesh sizes) and also affected by habitat degradation and pollution. Spottail sharks suffer from over-fishing throughout much of their range. Only the relatively well managed northern Australia fisheries seems to be spared. But there are increasing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in northern Australian waters, mostly by Indonesian fishers, the majority of whom are targeting shark.

Sources: here and here

 

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