Cephaloscyllium silasi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Cephaloscyllium silasi (Talwar, 1974)
Common Name(s):
English Indian Swellshark
Scyliorhinus silasi Talwar, 1974
Taxonomic Notes: A similar small swellshark occurs off Myanmar, Andaman Sea, but that needs to be compared with this species (Compagno et al. 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): McCormack, C.
Reviewer(s): Stevens, J.D., Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
The Indian Swellshark (Cephaloscyllium silasi) is a small (to 36 cm total length) deepwater catshark known only from off Quilon, India. The original specimens were collected at 300 m depth. No specific information is available on catches or fisheries operating within this species’ range, but deepwater fisheries operate off India. This species is vulnerable to bycatch in trawls and its status is of concern, given its limited range. Insufficient information is available to assess this species beyond Data Deficient at present and data on the species’ biology, catch rates in fisheries and population trends are required.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Western Indian Ocean: known only from off Quilon, India (Compagno in prep.).
Countries occurrence:
India (Kerala)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):300
Upper depth limit (metres):300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population size is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Bottom-dwelling shark of the uppermost continental slope. The type series, including the holotype and three paratypes, were collected at 300 m depth with an otter trawl. Probably a dwarf species, as the largest known specimen, a male, is adult at 36 cm total length (Compagno in prep.). Little else is known of the biology of the species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species inhabits trawlable grounds and could potentially be vulnerable to bycatch by fisheries operating in deepwater throughout its range. Given the species’ apparently restricted range, any bycatch may be of concern. Little is known about deepwater fisheries operating off India at present. There were apparently 100 deep-sea fishing vessels in operation off India during 2004 (FAO 2007). Marine fish production from near shore waters off India has reached almost a plateau and it is likely that fisheries will develop to exploit deeper waters off shore pelagic species further (FAO 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No management or conservation efforts are currently in place. Like many deeper water species more information on biology, ecology and importance in fisheries are required to further assess status and any future conservation needs. Further surveys would help to define the species full range and depth distribution. Where taken, catches require monitoring, particularly as deepwater fisheries expand worldwide.

The development and implementation of management plans (national and/or regional e.g., under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA-Sharks) are required to facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region.

Citation: McCormack, C. 2009. Cephaloscyllium silasi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161591A5459664. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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