Halaelurus boesemani 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Halaelurus boesemani
Species Authority: Springer & D'Aubrey, 1972
Common Name(s):
English Speckled Catshark
Taxonomic Source(s): Weigmann, S. 2016. Annotated checklist of the living sharks, batoids and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of the world, with a focus on biogeographical diversity. Journal of Fish Biology 88(3): 837-1037.
Taxonomic Notes: This species was confused with H. buergeri until Springer and D'Aubrey (1972) found it to be a different species (Compagno 1984). Previously considered to occur in the Philippines, Viet Nam and northwestern Australia but two new species recently described from Indonesia/Philippines and northwestern Australia have resulted in a more restricted range for this species (White et al. 2007). The Vietnam populations need to be examined further as it is unsure which Halaelurus species they are (W. White pers. obs.)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-07-08
Assessor(s): White, W.T., Compagno, L.J.V. & Henderson, A.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
The Speckled Catshark (Halaelurus boesemani) is a relatively small, poorly known catshark. Previously considered to be much wider ranging, but two new Halaelurus species recently described from Indonesia/Philippines and northwest Australia have reduced its distribution. This species is now known only from nine specimens collected in three localities, relatively close to each other, on the Horn of Africa, Somalia, although the area is relatively poorly sampled. It occurs on continental and insular shelves at depths of 37-91 m, and reaches 48 cm in length. Its restricted known distribution suggests extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km², although the area is relatively poorly sampled. Very little specific information is currently available on the fisheries operating within its range, but it may be a bycatch of "catch all" opportunistic fisheries and demersal trawls. Habitat destruction and pollution may also be a threat to this species' inshore range. At present it is not possible to assess this species beyond Data Deficient due to a lack of information on the fisheries operating within its range and catches.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Western Indian Ocean: Horn of Africa, Gulf of Aden, Somalia (Compagno 1984). Its restricted known distribution suggests extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km², although the area is relatively poorly sampled.
Countries occurrence:
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information available.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A largely unknown catshark, living on continental and insular shelves at depths of 37-91 m (Compagno 1984). This species is born at greater than 7 cm, and reaches a maximum size of 48 cm total length (TL), with male adults ranging from 42-48 cm TL and female adults ranging from 43-47 cm TL (Compagno 1984). The biology of this species remains largely unknown.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is small and would be vulnerable to capture in demersal trawl fisheries and some net fisheries. Sharks are reported to play an important role in both the artisanal and traditional Somali fisheries, although no information is available on the catch species composition and other demersal species are reportedly lightly exploited (FAO 2007). This species is very small and is probably not targeted, although it may be subject to bycatch. Although little specific information is available on artisanal fisheries in Somali waters, small-scale fisheries in nearby countries (such as Oman) tend to be opportunistic, using a variety of net-types to catch as much as possible, and similar practices may be used in Somalia (A. Henderson pers. comm. 2007). Fisheries in Somalia are largely unregulated, with numerous reports of widespread illegal foreign fishing in Somali waters (Young et al. 2006, Somali Fisheries Society 2004). The potential for fisheries to expand and increase in effort is also high; Somalia reportedly intends to accelerate fisheries development (Young et al. 2006).

This species may also be affected by habitat degradation on the continental shelf, as a result of agriculture, coastal development and pollution.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place. Research is required on life-history, the impact of threats and potential and actual levels of bycatch. Surveys are needed to further define this species' distribution and abundance.

Citation: White, W.T., Compagno, L.J.V. & Henderson, A. 2009. Halaelurus boesemani. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161488A5435391. . Downloaded on 23 August 2017.
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