Orectolobus japonicus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Orectolobus japonicus
Species Authority: Regan, 1906
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Wobbegong

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-07-08
Assessor(s): Tanaka, S., Nakaya, K., Wang, Y & Alava, M.
Reviewer(s): Stevens, J., Valenti, S.V. & Pollard, D. (Shark Red List Authority)
This poorly known wobbegong is found in the northwest Pacific off Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan (Province of China), and Viet Nam, at depths of 1-200 m. Its preferred habitats are tropical inshore rocky and coral reef areas. The Japanese Wobbegong (Orectolobus japonicus) is caught in bottom set gillnets in Japan and used for human consumption. It may also be taken in China, Taiwan (Province of China), Korea and Viet Nam, but no data are currently available to determine catch levels or population trends. Despite these threats, insufficient information is currently available to assess this species beyond Data Deficient. Its distribution in areas historically and presently exploited by trawl fisheries is of concern, particularly as declines have been observed in other wobbegong species where they are heavily fished. Further investigation into threats, population numbers, catch levels and its life-history is required.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Northwest Pacific: off Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan (Province of China), and Viet Nam (Compagno 2001). Records of this species from the Philippines possibly refer to another, undescribed species of wobbegong and require verification (Compagno et al. 2005).
China; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Taiwan, Province of China; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Nothing is known about the population of this species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A temperate to tropical inshore shark, found on rocky bottoms and coral reefs at depths of 1-200 m (L.J.V. Compagno pers. comm. 2007). A nocturnal shark which measures 21-23 cm when born and grows to a maximum total length (TL) of more than 107 cm (Compagno 2001). Females reach maturity at 101-107 cm TL and males at ~103 cm TL. Reproduction is ovoviviparous, with litters of up to 20-27 young after a gestation period of ~12 months (Captive records) (Compagno 2001).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Caught in bottom set gillnets in Japan and used for human consumption; also taken in China, Taiwan (Province of China), Korea and Vietnam (Compagno 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place. Further investigation is required into threats to this species, population numbers, catch levels and its life-history.

Citation: Tanaka, S., Nakaya, K., Wang, Y & Alava, M. 2009. Orectolobus japonicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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