Population connectivity of the highly migratory shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque 1810) and implications for management in the Southern Hemisphere

Shannon Corrigan, Andrew D. Lowther, Luciano B. Beheregaray, Barry D. Bruce, Geremy Cliff, Clinton A. Duffy, Alan Foulis, Malcolm P. Francis, Simon D. Goldsworthy, John R. Hyde, Rima W. Jabado, Dovi Kacev, Lindsay Marshall, Gonzalo R. Mucientes, Gavin J.P. Naylor, Julian G. Pepperell, Nuno Queiroz, William T. White, Sabine P. Wintner, Paul J. Rogers

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In this paper we combine analyses of satellite telemetry and molecular data to investigate spatial connectivity and genetic structure among populations of shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) in and around Australian waters, where this species is taken in recreational and commercial fisheries. Mitochondrial DNA data suggest matrilineal substructure across hemispheres, while nuclear DNA data indicate shortfin mako may constitute a globally panmictic population. There was generally high genetic connectivity within Australian waters. Assessing genetic connectivity across the Indian Ocean basin, as well as the extent that shortfin mako exhibit sex biases in dispersal patterns would benefit from future improved sampling of adult size classes, particularly of individuals from the eastern Indian Ocean. Telemetry data indicated that Australasian mako are indeed highly migratory and frequently make long-distance movements. However, individuals also exhibit fidelity to relatively small geographic areas for extended periods. Together these patterns suggest that shortfin mako populations may be genetically homogenous across large geographical areas as a consequence of few reproductively active migrants, although spatial partitioning exists. Given that connectivity appears to occur at different scales, management at both the national and regional levels seems most appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number187
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2018 Corrigan, Lowther, Beheregaray, Bruce, Cliff, Duffy, Foulis, Francis, Goldsworthy, Hyde, Jabado, Kacev, Marshall, Mucientes, Naylor, Pepperell, Queiroz, White, Wintner and Rogers. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • Conservation
  • Fisheries
  • Microsatellites
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Population structure
  • Telemetry
  • Tracking


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