Genetics and Molecular Biology
Print version ISSN 1415-4757
RODRIGUES-FILHO, Luis Fernando da Silva et al. Identification and phylogenetic inferences on stocks of sharks affected by the fishing industry off the Northern coast of Brazil. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2009, vol.32, n.2, pp. 405-413. Epub May 01, 2009. ISSN 1415-4757. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-47572009005000039.
The ongoing decline in abundance and diversity of shark stocks, primarily due to uncontrolled fishery exploitation, is a worldwide problem. An additional problem for the development of conservation and management programmes is the identification of species diversity within a given area, given the morphological similarities among shark species, and the typical disembarkation of processed carcasses which are almost impossible to differentiate. The main aim of the present study was to identify those shark species being exploited off northern Brazil, by using the 12S-16S molecular marker. For this, DNA sequences were obtained from 122 specimens collected on the docks and the fish market in Bragança, in the Brazilian state of Pará. We identified at least 11 species. Three-quarters of the specimens collected were either Carcharhinus porosus or Rhizoprionodon sp, while a notable absence was the daggernose shark, Isogomphodon oxyrhyncus, previously one of the most common species in local catches. The study emphasises the value of molecular techniques for the identification of cryptic shark species, and the potential of the 12S-16S marker as a tool for phylogenetic inferences in a study of elasmobranchs.
Keywords : sharks; molecular identification; phylogenetic; mtDNA; conservation.