Feeding habits of the blue shark Prionace glauca (Linnaeus, 1758) off the coastal waters of Ivory Coast (West Africa)

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/03/2018
Views (302) Download (13)

Feeding habits of the blue shark Prionace glauca (Linnaeus, 1758) off the coastal waters of Ivory Coast (West Africa)

Kouadio Justin Konan, Kouassi Yves-Narcisse Kouamé, Nahoua Issa Ouattara, Tidiani Koné
J. Bio. Env. Sci.12( 3), 192-200, March 2018.
Certificate: JBES 2018 [Generate Certificate]


The diet of blue shark, Prionace glauca (Linnaeus, 1758), off the coastal waters of Ivory Coast (west Africa) was studied according to sexes, maturity groups and hydrological seasons from August 2014 to November 2016. Stomach contents of 262 specimens ranging from 195 to 320 cm total length caught by artisanal driftnet fishery were analysed. Of the stomach contents examined, 94 were empty (36%). The large number of empty stomachs may be the result of using hooks, which cause high stress resulting in regurgitation. Diet was described using the Index of Relative Importance (% IRI) combining occurrence, numerical and weight percentages. The overall diet consisted of cephalopods, teleost fishes, cartilaginous fishes, crustaceans and mammals of which cephalopods (84.2%) represented by Haliphron atlanticus (27.7%), Histioteuthis macrohista (22.0%) and Abraliopsis gilchristi (9.8%) were the main preys. The diet did not vary greatly according sexes, maturity groups and seasons. The Morisita-Horn index and the Spearman rank correlation coefficient showed similarity of diet between sexes (Cλ = 0.70, Rs = 0.41, p = 0.0035), maturity groups (Cλ = 0.49, Rs = 0.73, p = 0.00002) and seasons (Cλ = 0.62, Rs = 0.58, p = 0.004) in this area. The low trophic niche breadth associate to a large prey trophic spectrum found in this study indicate that blue shark is an opportunist predator.


Alatorre-Ramirez VG, Galvan-Magana F, Torres-Rojas YE. 2013. Trophic habitat of the Pacific sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon longurio, in the Mexican Pacific. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 93, 2217- 2224.

Cabrera CCA, Galvan-Magana F, Escobar-Sanchez O. 2010. Food habits of the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis (Müller & Henle, 1839) off the western coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 26, 499- 503.

Camhi M, Fowler S, Musick J, Bräutigam A, Fordham S. 1998. Sharks and their relatives: Ecology and conservation. IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK 39p.

Campana SE, Joyce W, Manning MJ. 2009. Bycatch and discard mortality in commercially caught blue sharks, Prionace glauca, assessed using archival satellite pop-up tags. Marine Ecology Progress Series 387, 241- 253.

Clarke MR, Stevens JD. 1974. Cephalopods, blue sharks and migration. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 54, 949- 957.

Cortés E, Domingo A, Miller P, Forselledo R, Mas F, Arocha F, Campana S, Coelho R, Da Silva C, Hazin FHV, Holtzhausen H, Keene K, Lucena F, Ramirez K, Santos MN, Semba-Murakami Y, Yokawa K. 2015. Expanded ecological risk assessment of pelagic sharks caught in Atlantic pelagic longline fisheries. Collective Volume of Scientific Papers ICCAT 71, 2637-2688.

Cortés E. 1997. A critical review of methods of studying fish feeding based on analysis of stomach contents: application to elasmobranch fishes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 54, 726-738.

Cortés E. 1999. Standardized diet compositions and trophic levels of sharks. ICES Journal of Marine Science 56, 707-717.

El Bakali M, Talbaoui M, Bendriss A. 2010. Feeding habits of the red mullet (Mullus surmuletus), from the northwest Moroccan Mediterranean coast (M’diq region). Rabat, section sciences de la Vie Bulletin de l’Institut Scientifique 32(2), 87-93.

Ferretti F, Worm B, Britten GL, Heithaus MR, Lotze HK. 2010. Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean. Ecology Letters 13, 1055- 1071.

Fisher W, Bianchi G, Scott W. 1981. FAO species identification sheets for the purposes for fishery purposes. Eastern Central Atlantic fishing area 34, 47 (in part) 324 p.

Flores-Martinez IA, Torres-Rojas YE, Galvan-Magana F, Ramos-Miranda J. 2016. Diet comparison between silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) and scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) off the south-west coast of Mexico. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 1-9.

Hazin FHV. 1991. Ecology of the blue shark, Prionace glauca, in the southwestern equatorial Atlantic. M.Sc. Dissert. Tokyo University of Fisheries 123 p.

Heithaus MR, Frid A, Wirsing AJ, Worm B. 2008. Predicting ecological consequences of marine top predator declines. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23(4), 202-210.

Joyce WN, Campana SE, Natanson LJ, Kohler NE, Pratt JHL, Jensen CF. 2002. Analysis of stomach contents of the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus, Bonnaterre) in the northwest Atlantic. ICES Journal of Marine Science 59, 1263-1269.

Kulbicki M, Bozec YM, Labrosse P, Letourneur Y, Mou-Tham G, Wantiez L. 2005. Diet composition of carnivorous fishes from coral reef lagoons of New Caledonia. Aquatic Living Resources 18, 231-250.

Labropoulou M, Eleftheriou A. 1997. The foraging ecology of two pairs of congeneric demersal fish species: importance of morphological characteristics in prey selection. Journal of Fish Biology 50, 324-340.

Last PR, Stevens JD. 2009. Sharks and rays of Australia, 2nd ed. Melbourne, Vic: CSIRO.

Lopez S, Meléndez R, Barría P. 2010. Preliminary diet analysis of the blue shark, Prionace glauca, in the eastern South Pacific. Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía 45, 745-749.

Lu CC, Ickeringill R. 2002. Cephalopod beak identification and biomass estimation techniques: tools for dietary studies of southern Australian finfishes. Museum Victoria Science Reports 6, 1-65.

Markaida U, Sosa-Nishizaki O. 2010. Food and feeding habits of the blue shark Prionace glauca caught off Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, with a review on its feeding. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 90(5), 977-994.

Mc Cord M, Campana S. 2003. A quantitative assessment of the diet of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) off Nova Scotia. Canada Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science 32, 57-63.

Mendonça A. 2009. Diet of the blue shark, Prionace glauca, in the Northeast Atlantic. Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution, Thesis Master’s Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto 31 p.

Pauly D, Christensen V, Dalsgaard J, Froese R. 1998. Fishing down marine food webs. Science 279, 860-863.

Pinkas L, Oliphant MS, Iverson ILK. 1971. Food habits of albacore, blue fin tuna, and bonito in California waters. Fishery Bulletin 152, 1-105.

Pratt HW. 1979. Reproduction in the blue shark, Prionace glauca. Fishery Bulletin 77(2), 445-470.

Pusineri C, Chancollon O, Ringelstein J, Ridoux V. 2008. Feeding niche segregation among the Northeast Atlantic community of oceanic top predators. Marine Ecology Progress Series 361, 21-34.

Rosecchi E, Nouaze Y. 1987. Comparaison de cinq indices utilisés dans l’analyse des contenus stomacaux. Revue des Travaux de l’Institut des Pêches Maritimes 49, 11-123.

Schneider W. 1992. FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Field guide to the commercial marine resources of the Gulf of Guinea. Prepared and published with the support of the FAO Regional Office for Africa. Rome, FAO 268 p.

Simpfendorfer C, Goodreid A, McAuley R. 2001. Diet of three commercially important shark species from Western Australian waters. Marine and Freshwater Research 52, 975-985.

Tricas T. 1979. Relationships of the blue shark, Prionace glauca, and its prey species near Santa Carolina Island, California. Fishery Bulletin 77, 175-182.

Vaske JT, Lessa RP, Gadig OBF. 2009. Feeding habits of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) off the coast of Brazil. Biota Neotrop 9(3), 055-060.

Xavier JC, Cherel Y. 2009. Cephalopod Beak Guide for the Southern Ocean. British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK 129 p.