Our friend, Robert E Hueter, Ph.D. of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, sent Chris Fischer a note this morning- “Just came across this interesting passage from Stew Springer's 1963 chapter on "Large sharks of the Florida-Caribbean region" in the book Sharks and Survival”
"In the Florida shark fishery, over a period of 10 years [Springer was reporting on the period of 1935-1950, so not sure which ten-year period this was], only 27 white sharks in 100,000 large sharks of all species were recorded. Those taken were caught inside the 20-fathom curve and most of them in less than 10 fathoms. They were from 6 feet to 18 feet 6 inches long; the large ones, at least, were caught on improperly set longlines so loose that the sharks became involved with more than one hook and usually had a twist of chain or wire rope knotted around the caudal peduncle... Most of the white sharks were between 14 and 16 feet long, and most were females, all nongravid. This suggests that all of the white sharks taken in the Florida fishery were members of an accessory population." Springer, S. 1963. Field observations on large sharks of the Florida-Caribbean region. In Sharks and Survival (P.W. Gilbert, ed.), D.C. Heath & Co., Boston. pp 95-113.
“Stew was talking about the east coast of Florida where a commercial fishery for shark liver oil flourished during those years. His "accessory population" term referred to "that which is lost, and usually permanently lost, either through wandering from the usual geographical range of the species or through disorientation in seasonal movements, which puts it out of phase in the reproductive cycle." He postulated that sharks in "accessory populations" were more prone to attack swimmers. His principal vs. accessory population distinction was not widely adopted and I think it's safe to say is not accepted today, but Stew was an incredibly experienced and insightful shark biologist.” -Bob Hueter, Ph.D.