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Dasyatis chrysonota

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES DASYATIDAE

Scientific Name: Dasyatis chrysonota
Species Authority: (Smith, 1828)
Common Name(s):
English Blue Stingray
Taxonomic Notes: Previously confused with D. pastinaca and D. marmorata which do not occur in the area (Bianchi et al. 1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Smale, M.J.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Simpfendorfer, C. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Blue Stingray (Dasyatis chrysonota) occurs from Angola to at least St. Lucia, Natal, South Africa, possibly extending to Mozambique and beyond, to about 100 m depth. It is taken as a bycatch in trawling for hake and soles, and in the recreational or sport fishery. There are extensive areas of the Agulhas Bank that are untrawlable, and several inshore bays are closed to trawling along the South African coast. Animals discarded from the trawl fishery are unlikely to survive. In the recreational fishery rays are released alive after measuring and/or weighing. Although no post-releases survival experiments have been undertaken, there is no evidence (i.e., direct observation) of high levels of post-release mortality from the sport fishery. This species is not targeted (other than the sport catch and release fishery), there are a number of Marine Protected Areas in its range, and access to fishing beaches has been reduced. For the reasons outlined above, the category of Least Concern has been assigned to this species. There are a number of unresolved population and biological questions that have yet to be studied and research is required on these.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Southeast Atlantic and western Indian Ocean: central Angola to at least St. Lucia, Natal, South Africa, possibly extending to Mozambique and beyond (Cowley and Compagno 1993).
Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola, Angola); Namibia; South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, Northern Cape Province, North-West Province, Western Cape)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a commonly caught recreational species. There have been no concerns raised about an apparent decline.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This inshore stingray is often found in shallow bays and sheltered sandy beaches in summer, moving offshore to deeper waters of up to about 100m depth in winter (Bianchi et al. 1999). The species reaches a maximum size of about 75 cm disc width (DW) (Bianchi et al. 1999). Females are mature at seven years of age and 50 cm DW and males at 40.8 cm DW and five years (Cowley 1990). Females live for 14 years and males for nine years. Females give birth to litter of 1-5 pups after a gestation period of about nine months. Size at birth is 17-20 cm DW (Cowley 1990).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Occasionally caught by shore anglers, but generally they are released alive (Bianchi et al 1999, Cowley 1990, Cowley and Compagno 1993). In the recreational fishery rays are released alive after measuring and/or weighing. Although no post-releases survival experiments have been undertaken, there is no evidence (i.e., direct observation) of high levels of post-release mortality from the sport fishery. This species is not targeted (other than the sport catch and release fishery), but is taken as a bycatch of trawlers (Cowley et al. 1991) including those targeting hakes and soles, but discarded (probably dead). However, there are extensive areas of the Agulhas Bank that are untrawlable, and several inshore bays are closed to trawling along the South African coast, offering it refuge.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Not targeted other than in competition angling after which they are generally released alive. They are protected by existing Marine Protected areas (e.g., Tsitsikamma MPA, Sardinia Bay MPA) and by the fact that embayments along the coast (e.g., Algoa Bay) are closed to benthic trawling. The Beach driving ban promulgated in 2000 with amendments in 2002 have made large areas of beach formerly used for fishing inaccessible to fishers thereby extending protected areas.

Citation: Smale, M.J. 2009. Dasyatis chrysonota. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 August 2014.
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