Scymnodalatias garricki 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Squaliformes Somniosidae

Scientific Name: Scymnodalatias garricki Kukuev & Konovalenko, 1988
Common Name(s):
English Azores Dogfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-08-21
Assessor(s): Séret, B., McCormack, C. & Pinho, M.
Reviewer(s): Dulvy, N.
Contributor(s): Jung, A. & Buscher, E.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Walls, R., Frazer, K. & Dulvy, N.
Azores Dogfish (Scymnodalatias garricki) is a rare, deepwater dogfish known only from a holotype found at 300 m over a seamount north of the Azores in the central eastern Atlantic (37.7 cm total length), and a second specimen captured south of the Azores in 2001. The biology of the species is virtually unknown. The lack of records suggests that it is rare and has little, if any, interaction with fisheries. For this reasons, the Azores Dogfish is assessed as Data Deficient. This species occurs in an area where deepwater longline fisheries are developing and could potentially be taken as bycatch in the future. It may have limiting life history characteristics, similar to other deepwater shark species, thus will not be sufficiently fecund to withstand high levels of exploitation. Catches need to be carefully monitored and this species should be reassessed if more biological and fisheries data become available.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This dogfish is only known from the holotype caught north of the Azores on a seamount of the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (40°22'N, 30°10'W) and a second specimen captured south of the Azores (34°25'N, 30°02'W). Its depth range is 300-2,000 m.

Countries occurrence:
Portugal (Azores)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):2000
Upper depth limit (metres):300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No quantitative information on population trends or structure is available, although this species is apparently very rare.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species is apparently mesopelagic or deep-benthic, occurring in the open ocean over seamounts along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and near the Azores at 300 to 580 m depth, with bottom depths in the vicinity of 2,000 m or more (Ebert and Stehmann 2013).

Almost nothing is known of its biology. The holotype was an adolescent male at 37.7 cm total length (TL; Kukuev and Konovalenko 1988) and a female with several embryos was reported to be 80 cm TL (Kukuev 2006). 


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no information on the use and trade of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Current threats to this species are unknown. To date, it has only been recorded from scientific surveys despite many fisheries operating within its range. Demersal longline fisheries operate to depths of 700 m, and the Black Scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo) fishery operates at 600–1,000 m, off the Azores (Bordalo-Machado et al. 2009). Longline fisheries for tuna also operate in this area. Gillnets and handline fisheries targeting deepwater sharks (e.g., Kitefin Shark Dalatias licha) operated in the Azores from 1972–2001 (Heessen 2003). Trawlers have also operated over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge for many years, particularly the Russian fishery targeting Alfonsinos (Beryx splendens) and Roundnose Grenadiers (Coryphaenoides rupestris) at depths of 600–1,000m (ICES 2006). It is possible that there are no reports of this species from such fisheries because data from observers or fishing logbooks are not available (ICES 2006), some demersal fisheries do not report landed bycatch at the species level (Heessen 2003) and landings of deepwater sharks are likely underestimated when reported to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

No species-specific management or conservation measures are currently in place. This species is not included in the list of deepwater sharks protected by the European Union’s (EU) zero Total Allowable Catch limitations on European Commission vessels (CEC 2012). However, the ban on bottom trawling within the Azores Exclusive Economic Zone potentially offers some protection (CEC 2005).

In 2013, the EU banned the removal of shark fins on board vessels (CEC 2013), in line with advice from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission’s Shark Specialist Group and other shark fishery experts, in order to enhance enforcement of the 2003 EU ban on shark finning (CEC 2003) and facilitate improved shark fishery data collection.

In the future, the extent of longline fisheries around the Azores should be monitored and bycatch should be reported at the species level. Given that this species is very rare, and likely has limiting life history characteristics, it may be biologically vulnerable to depletion.

Citation: Séret, B., McCormack, C. & Pinho, M. 2015. Scymnodalatias garricki. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T161583A48958827. . Downloaded on 16 August 2018.
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