Life History Studies of California Chondrichthyans: Determining Essential Biological Information for Effective Management of Bycatch and Emerging Fisheries
In cooperation with NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz Lab, researchers from the Pacific Shark Research Center/Moss Landing Marine Laboratories have been participating and assisting in groundfish surveys since 2002. Vertebrae for age and growth estimation, reproductive tracts, and/or stomachs for feeding analyses were collected from over 5,000 specimens. Studies on the age and growth of the roughtail (Bathyraja trachura) and sandpaper (Bathyraja kincaidii) skates were completed, with one paper having been published and another having been accepted for publication. Age and growth studies for several other commonly encountered chondrichthyans are continuing. Studies on the reproductive biology of the big (Raja binoculata), California (Raja inornata), longnose (Raja rhina), roughtail, and sandpaper skates, and the white-spotted chimaera (Hydrolagus colliei) were completed and manuscripts are currently being prepared for publication. A study on the reproductive biology of three deepsea catsharks (Scyliorhinidae) was completed, with two publications currently in press. Dietary studies were completed for four species, the big, California (Raja inornata), longnose, and sandpaper skates, with analyses continuing for several other species. Research results for this project have resulted in two Masters Theses, ten publications, and 18 presentations at seven conferences. This project funded two California Sea Grant trainees both of whom worked on projects that served as their Masters Theses.