Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 84, Issue 4, pp 377–391 | Cite as

Age and growth analysis of the shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus, in the western and central North Pacific Ocean

  • Yasuko Semba
  • Hideki Nakano
  • Ichiro Aoki


We determined the age and growth rates of male and female shortfin makos, (Isurus oxyrinchus), from the western and central North Pacific Ocean. Growth band pairs were counted on half-cut vertebral centra using a shadowing method. In this method, we focused on the ridges on the surface of the centra, consisting of a convex and concave structure. After comparing four enhancing methods, we decided on the use of shadowing method for aging. Vertebrae from 128 males and 147 females were examined. The centrum edge analysis suggested annual band pair formation. Von Bertalanffy growth curves were fitted separately to the length-at-age data for males and females with birth length fixed. Until approximately 7 years of age, both sexes showed similar growth rates; thereafter, males showed a significantly slower growth rate compared to females. It was suggested males and females mature at approximately 6 years and 16 years, respectively. These life-history characteristics suggest relatively low productivity for this species, which agrees with reports on populations in other geographic regions.


Shortfin mako Annual growth band pair deposition Centrum edge analysis 



We are grateful to the crews of the research and training vessels. The captain and crew of the Hokuhoh-Maru, and the Enoshima-Maru assisted in the onboard collection and measurement of samples. The captain and crew of the 2 Taikei-Maru, the Kurosaki, the 16 Shinei-Maru, and the 17 Shinei-Maru kindly assisted with sampling off the Sanriku coast. Masashi Kiyota, Hiroshi Minami, Takahiro Nobetsu, Ryo Yashige, Shigeo Saino, and Kosuke Yokota kindly assisted in the collection of valuable specimens during the research cruise. We also thank the presidents of Shinei-Suisan Co., Ltd. and Fukasaku Co., Ltd. for their help in gathering samples of large individuals. Takashi Yamakawa, Yuji Uozumi, Yukio Takeuchi, Hiroshi Okamura, and Syungo Oshitani provided many helpful comments and suggestions. Lisa Natanson kindly permitted us to review her results prior to their publication. Finally, the comments and suggestions by three anonymous reviewers greatly improved this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tropical Tuna Resources DivisionNational Research Institute of Far Seas FisheriesShimizu-ward Shizuoka CityJapan
  2. 2.Project Management DivisionNational Research Institute of Far Seas FisheriesShimizu-ward Shizuoka CityJapan
  3. 3.Department of Aquatic Bioscience, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesUniversity of TokyoBunkyo-kuTokyoJapan

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