A review of age and growth, reproductive biology, and demography of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Henry F. Mollet
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA 95039-9647, USA.
The von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) is given by L(t) = Loo – (Loo – Lo) exp (-kt), where Lo is mean size at birth, Loo is mean maximum size, and k is a rate constant with units of reciprocal time that is best interpreted in terms of longevity or number of half-lives (ln2/k). The time (t) it takes to reach the fraction x of Loo is given by t = 1/k ln[(Loo-Lo)/Loo(1-x)]. If we choose x = 0.95 and Lo = 0.2Loo, then longevity is given by 2.77/k = 4.00 ln2/k. The value of L(t) has reached 95% of Loo in four half-lives. Growth functions for three population of white shark from California, South Africa, and Australia will be reviewed and compared. A pregnant white shark was caught on 13 October 1997 in a set-net off Baisolane, Taiwan with 8 embryos of TL between 0.5 and 0. 6 m. Time of capture and length of embryos fit an existing but tentative growth curve that predicts a gestation time of around 15-18 months. Uterine width data of pregnant white shark suggest that female maturity is around 5 m TL and 15 yr. Matrix population models of white shark will be reviewed and an integrodifference equation model is explored.