Narcine tasmaniensis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Narcinidae

Scientific Name: Narcine tasmaniensis
Species Authority: Richardson, 1841
Common Name(s):
English Tasmanian Numbfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-04-22
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Treloar, M.A.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Dulvy, N.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
The Tasmanian Numbfish (Narcine tasmaniensis) is endemic to eastern and southern Australia from New South Wales to Western Australia including Tasmania. It is common and has a wide depth range from nearshore to 640 m. It is a medium-sized numbfish reaching 47 cm total length with a litter size of 1-8 (average 3) pups and is a regular bycatch of Commonwealth trawl fisheries across its range, but is of no interest to fisheries and is discarded when caught (although post-release mortality needs examination). Observer data in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery show an increasing trend in catch-per-unit-effort between 2000 and 2006. Given this trend, and considering that this is a common species with a relatively wide geographic and depth range across eastern and southern Australia, it is assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Tasmanian Numbfish is widespread in waters of eastern and southern Australia in the Eastern Indian and Southwest Pacific Oceans, from Coffs Harbour (New South Wales) to Eyre (Western Australia), including Tasmania (Last and Stevens 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest
Lower depth limit (metres): 640
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information available pertaining to population size or trend. Observer data from the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery between 2000 and 2006 show an increasing catch-per-unit-effort trend (Walker and Gason 2007). It is reportedly common in the Great Australian Bight (Last and Stevens 2009). Around southern Tasmania, populations of breeding females together with a number of mature males have been collected but no immature males (R. Daley, CSIRO Hobart, pers. comm., 2004).
Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Tasmanian Numbfish occurs on the continental shelf and slope but habitat varies regionally; off Tasmania, it is restricted to the continental slope (including near shore and rarely deeper than 100 m), while further north it occurs on the slope at depths of 200-640 m (Last and Stevens 2009). It is a medium-sized numbfish found on sandy or muddy bottoms, and sometimes near rocky reefs. It reaches at least 47 cm total length (TL); males reach maturity at 21–26 cm TL and females at 20–26 cm TL (R. Daley, CSIRO Hobart, pers. comm., 2004). Viviparous; size at birth is 9–12 cm TL; litter size averages 3 and ranges 1-8 (R. Daley, CSIRO Hobart, pers. comm., 2004).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Numbfishes are not utilized and are 100% discarded when caught as bycatch (e.g., Walker and Gason 2007).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Tasmanian Numbfish is a bycatch in trawl fisheries across its range. In the Commonwealth managed Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery it is a common bycatch with an estimated 56 tonnes caught annually between 2000 and 2006 (100% discarded), and with an increasing trend in catch-per-unit-effort (Walker and Gason 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place for this species. It may derive some conservation benefit from protection of part of it's distribution within Commonwealth Marine Reserves.

Citation: Kyne, P.M. & Treloar, M.A. 2015. Narcine tasmaniensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T161628A68635314. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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