Article

Life-history, exploitation and extinction risk of the data-poor Baraka's whipray (Maculabatis ambigua) in small-scale tropical fisheries

Citation

Temple AJ, Stead SM, Jiddawi N, Wambiji N, Dulvy NK, Barrowclift E & Berggren P (2020) Life-history, exploitation and extinction risk of the data-poor Baraka's whipray (Maculabatis ambigua) in small-scale tropical fisheries. Journal of Fish Biology, 97 (3), pp. 708-719. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.14425

Abstract
The Baraka's whipray (Maculabatis ambigua ) is a major constituent of small‐scale fisheries catch in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Despite this, little is known of its life‐history or exploitation status. We provide the first estimates of crucial life‐history parameters and maximum intrinsic population growth rate r max , using specimens collected from small‐scale fisheries landings in Kenya, Zanzibar, and Madagascar (with northern Madagascar representing a range extension for this species). We then assess relative risk of overexploitation by combining r max with estimates of total Z , fishing F and natural M mortality, and an estimate of the exploitation ratio E . The data indicate that Baraka's whipray is a medium‐sized, fast‐growing, early maturing species, with a relatively long lifespan. This results in a high r max relative to many other elasmobranchs which when combined with estimates of F suggest that the species is not at imminent risk of extinction. Yet, estimates of exploitation ratio E suggest likely overfishing for the species, with full recruitment to the fishery being post‐maturation and exploitation occurring across a broad range of age and size classes. Thus, Baraka's whipray is unlikely to be biologically sustainable in the face of current fisheries pressures. This paper makes an important contribution to filling the gap in available data and is a step towards developing evidence‐based fisheries management for this species. Further, it demonstrates a simple and widely applicable framework for assessment of data‐poor elasmobranch exploitation status and extinction risk.

Keywords
Bland-Altman; Elasmobranch; Life‐History; r max; Indian Ocean

Journal
Journal of Fish Biology: Volume 97, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Publication date30/09/2020
Publication date online30/06/2020
Date accepted by journal08/06/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31396
ISSN0022-1112
eISSN1095-8649