Sharks caught in the protective gill nets off KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 8. The Great hammerhead shark <i>Sphyrna mokarran</i> (Rüppell)
Also published as IOTC-2022-WPEB18-INF02.
Between 1978 and 1993, 209 great hammerhead sharks Sphyrna mokarran were caught in the shark nets which protect the swimming beaches of KwaZulu-Natal. This species constituted 0,97% of the total shark catch, with amean annual catch of 13. Catch rates showed asignificant decline during the period under review, from 0,66 to0,09 sharks' km-net-1• year-I. Most sharks were caught inthe north of.the netted region between January and May. Catches atMzamba, the southern extremity of the netted region, represent the southernmost records of this species on the east African coast. The males ranged insize from 106 cm precaudal length (18 kg) to264 cm (220 kg) and females from 140 cm (35 kg) to326 cm (400 kg). Males matured atabout 217 cm and females at237 cm. Very few sharks were found inmating condition. Elasmobranchs were found in82% of non-empty stomachs. There was ahigh incidence ofstingrays (Dasyatidae), guitarfish (Rhinobatidae) and other bottom-dwelling fish inthe diet.