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The behaviour and recovery of juvenile lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris in response to external accelerometer tag attachment

Bullock, R. W.; Guttridge, T. L.; Cowx, I. G.; Elliott, M.; Gruber, S. H.


R. W. Bullock

T. L. Guttridge

I. G. Cowx

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Professor Mike Elliott
Emeritus Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies

S. H. Gruber


© 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. Behavioural responses of lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris to a fin-mounted tag package (CEFAS G6A tri-axial accelerometer with epoxied Sonotronics PT4 acoustic transmitter) were measured in a controlled captive environment (n = 10, total length, L T range 80-140 cm) and in free-ranging sharks upon release (n = 7, L T range100-160 cm). No changes were detected in behaviour (i.e. swimming speed, tailbeat frequency, time spent resting and frequency of chafing) between control and tagged captive shark trials, suggesting that the tag package itself does not alter behaviour. In the free-ranging trials, an initial period of elevated swimming activity was found in all individuals (represented by overall dynamic body acceleration). Negaprion brevirostris, however, appeared to recover quickly, returning to a steady swimming state between 2 and 35 min after release. Post-release tracking found that all sharks swim immediately for the shoreline and remain within 100 m of shore for prolonged periods. Hence, although N. brevirostris are capable of quick adaptation to stressors and demonstrate rapid recovery in terms of activity, tracking data suggest that they may modify their spatial use patterns post release. This research is important in separating deviation in behaviour due to environmental stressors from artefacts caused by experimental techniques.


Bullock, R. W., Guttridge, T. L., Cowx, I. G., Elliott, M., & Gruber, S. H. (2015). The behaviour and recovery of juvenile lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris in response to external accelerometer tag attachment. Journal of fish biology, 87(6), 1342-1354.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 14, 2015
Online Publication Date Oct 29, 2015
Publication Date 2015-12
Deposit Date May 31, 2022
Journal Journal of Fish Biology
Print ISSN 0022-1112
Electronic ISSN 1095-8649
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 87
Issue 6
Pages 1342-1354
Keywords Accelerometer; Capture stress; Elasmobranch; Post-release behaviour; Sharks
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