First report on the serum chemistry and haematology of free-ranging dusky (Carcharhinus obscurus) and sandbar (Carcharhinus plumbeus) sharks in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

Tal Starostinetsky-Malonek, Aviad Scheinin, Itamar Aroch, Nadav Davidovich, Eyal Bigal, Leigh Livne, Rachel Ann Hauser-Davis, Natascha Wosnick, Dan Tchernov, Danny Morick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Shark assessments in the Mediterranean Sea are still scarce, and serum chemistry and haematological data have yet to be reported for wild dusky (Carcharhinus obscurus) or sandbar (Carcharhinus plumbeus) shark populations in the Mediterranean Sea. Herein, blood samples were obtained from adult dusky (n = 23) and sandbar (n = 14) sharks from an aggregation site near the Hadera power and desalination plants in Israel in the winters of 2016–20. Several serum chemistry analytes were characterized with relation to stress, body size and environmental conditions. Glucose concentrations were higher, while total cholesterol concentrations were lower in dusky sharks than in sandbar sharks, potentially due to distinct metabolic pathways utilized during the capture-related activity by both species. However, differences in sex and size are noted and should be considered. The blood cell morphology of both species was consistent with previous findings for sandbar sharks. Atypical monocytes were noted in one dusky shark. Preliminary and exploratory reference intervals for female dusky sharks were calculated for glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, total protein and creatine kinase. These data must be viewed with caution due to the potential influence of capture-related stress on analyte concentrations and activities and the fact that only females were employed in the calculations. Moreover, the sampling site is adjacent to coastal power and desalination plants, which may significantly affect shark physiology. Although limited, this novel database on dusky and sandbar shark serum chemistry and haematology aspects is essential as a first attempt to obtain data on these species in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and for future conservation and long-term biomonitoring efforts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbercoad037
JournalConservation Physiology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for Experimental Biology.

Keywords

  • Carcharhinus obscurus
  • Carcharhinus plumbeus
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • haematology
  • serum chemistry
  • shark

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