Measuring circulating concentrations of steroid hormones can be used as a method for determining reproductive maturity and cycles in elasmobranchs. However, it is unknown how long steroid hormones remain stable in elasmobranch blood following capture, and thus how quickly these samples should be collected for the results of subsequent steroid hormone analyses to be accurate. The objectives of this study were to determine if the sex steroid hormones progesterone, testosterone and estradiol would remain at stable concentrations in the blood of the Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias Linnaeus, 1758) and the Atlantic Sharpnose Sharks (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae Richardson, 1836) that were captured, left on deck and un-refrigerated for 24 hr. Blood samples were serially drawn from five initially live sharks over a period of 24 hr. While concentrations of all three hormones did significantly fluctuate over the sampling period in both species, the resulting hormone concentrations from each sampling period still fell within the range of previously reported values for each species in their respective reproductive stage. Additionally, no significant changes in hematocrit were detected in either species over the 24-hr period. This research represents an extreme situation in which sharks were left on deck and un-refrigerated, and suggests that even when subjected to these conditions steroid hormone concentrations may fluctuate, but the resulting values may still be useful for assessing reproductive stage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science