Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 64 Issue 2

Composition and biology of elasmobranchs in the shore seine catches of Malvan, Maharashtra

T. Gupta, K. Warde, C. Rao and M. Manoharakrishnan

Shore seines are traditional fishing gear that supports the livelihoods and subsistence of thousands of fishers in India. However, their impact on elasmobranchs that inhabit the coastal waters is relatively less known. This study assessed elasmobranch capture, biology, and their value from inshore seines of Malvan, Maharashtra. Six elasmobranch species were found in the shore seine nets, dominated by the scaly whip ray (Brevitrygon walga, n=107) and including two Critically Endangered guitarfish species (Glaucostegus obtusus and G. granulatus). Most captured elasmobranchs were juveniles, suggesting that the inshore Malvan waters may serve as nursery grounds for these species. Among the sampled B. walga 64.1% were dead upon capture, with small-sized rays showing significantly higher mortality, indicating a higher vulnerability of juveniles. 49.5% of the captured elasmobranchs were discarded, 19.6% were used as take-home catch for consumption and only 30.9% were commercially sold, albeit for a low value. These findings indicate that while the shore seine fishery may affect coastal elasmobranchs, these species are important for local subsistence. Conservation efforts can be directed towards the live release of elasmobranchs that would otherwise be discarded and die, particularly for endangered species. 


Shark, ray, chondrichthyes, fisheries, bycatch

Date : 24-08-2022