Himantura jenkinsii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Dasyatidae

Scientific Name: Himantura jenkinsii
Species Authority: (Annandale, 1909)
Common Name(s):
English Jenkins' Whipray
Himantura draco (Compagno & Heemstra, 1984)
Trygon jenkinsii Annandale, 1909
Taxonomic Notes: This species has probably been misidentified as H. fai in the literature (W. White pers. obs.). More specimens of both this species and of Himantura draco from South Africa need to be examined to resolve the taxonomic status of this species. Himantura draco is presently considered a synonym of H. jenkinsii. The South African species had dark spots along the posterior margin of the disc but this form has also been reported from the Arafura Sea and off Sumatra in Indonesia. It is possible that these may in fact be colour forms of the same species. Examples of specimens with dark spots along the posterior margin of the disc, are from the Arafura Sea, Sumatra (Last and Stevens 1994, Fahmi pers. obs. 2007), and from western Sri Lanka (Morón et al. 1998, Manjaji 2004), and Sulu Sea (Manjaji, pers. obs. 2002).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Manjaji, B.M., Fahmi & White, W.T.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
This stingray is patchily distributed in inshore waters (to at least 50 m depth) in the Indian and Western Central Pacific Oceans, from South Africa to Southeast Asia and off northern Australia. This species is taken as a utilised bycatch of tangle/gillnet, trawlnet, and dropline fisheries throughout Southeast Asia and parts of the Indian Ocean. Inshore fishing pressure is intense throughout this species' range in these areas. It is caught in particularly high numbers in the target fishery for rhynchobatids operating in the Arafura Sea. Although no species-specific data are available, overall catches of stingrays are reported to be declining, with fishermen having to travel further and further to sustain catch levels. This species is highly sought after in Southeast Asia for the high value of its skin. Given continuing high levels of exploitation throughout its range in Southeast Asia and evidence for declines in catches of stingrays, this sub-population is assessed as Vulnerable. Little is known of the population off southeastern Africa, although the species is probably taken as bycatch of shrimp trawlers there. Fisheries in northern Australia are generally well managed and the introduction of Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs) and other exclusion devices will have greatly reduced bycatch of this species. The species is considered at minimal threat throughout its wide range off northern Australia, where it is assessed as Least Concern because there is no information to suggest that this sub-population has declined. Overall, the extent of global decline is not considered sufficient to meet the threat criteria and the species is assessed as Least Concern globally due to its wide range off northern Australia.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Indian Ocean and western central Pacific: patchy occurrence from southeastern Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Socotra Islands, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, northern Australia and New Guinea (Last and Stevens 1994, Compagno and Heemstra 1984, Compagno et al. 2005, Stehmann 1995, Manjaji 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory); India; Indonesia; Madagascar; Malaysia; Mozambique; Papua New Guinea (Papua New Guinea (main island group)); Philippines; South Africa; Thailand; Yemen (Socotra)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 50
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Uncommon.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: An inshore ray, usually found at less than 50 m depth (Compagno and Heemstra 1984, Kuiter and Debelius 1994, Stehmann 1995, Manjaji 2004, White et al. 2006), but recently recorded from 100 m depth off northwest Australia (J. Pogonoski pers. comm. 2008). Seen in reef areas off Thailand (Vidthyanon pers. obs. 2007). Attains a maximum size of at least 104 cm DW (~200 cm total length) (White et al. 2006, Last and Compagno 1999). Males mature at about 70 cm disc width (DW) and size at birth is between 20 and 27 cm DW (White and Dharmadi 2007, Last and Stevens 1994). Reproduction is viviparous, with histotrophy and diet presumably consists of crustaceans and small fishes (White et al. 2006).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Captured in demersal tangle net, bottom trawl and, occasionally, longline fisheries (White et al. 2006). Inshore fishing pressure is high throughout much of this species known range in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.

This species is taken in commercial gillnet fisheries off Indonesia, particularly in the fishery that targets rhynchobatid rays in the Arafura Sea, and retained (Last and Compagno 1999, W. White pers. obs. 2007). It is thought to be heavily impacted in this area, where more than 600 trawl vessels operate (W. White pers. obs. 2007). The Rhynchobatus species gillnet fishery catches large numbers of stingrays and Himantura jenkinsii is important in this fishery. Catches in inshore waters have declined and these vessels are having to travel longer and longer distances to sustain catches. The rhynchobatid fisheries are very intensive in this region, thus the level of exploitation is extremely high. There is also evidence that fisherman in these regions increasingly illegally fish in Australian waters (Chen 1996, W. White unpub. data). This species is highly sought after for its valuable skin (W. White pers. obs. 2007) which can fetch high prices due to the large thorns on the tail.

In Sabah (Malaysia) and Indonesia, these species are often caught and landed in the inshore fisheries (trawls and longlines) (M. Manjaji and Fahmi pers. obs. 2007). Also taken by the Danish seine fishing gear. In Southeast Asia, most specimens caught as bycatch by commercial fisheries (especially trawlers) are landed and sold as food fish.

In Australia, large specimens are caught as byatch in the Australian Northern Prawn Trawl Fishery, but the introduction of Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs) and other exclusion devices is thought to have greatly reduced bycatch of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No specific measures in place.

In Malaysia, the SSG together with various government departments in Sabah and Sarawak States have initiated elasmobranch biodiversity studies since 1996 (Fowler et al. 2002). While the monitoring surveys should continue to ascertain the status and possible threats to this species here, as well as in other portions of its range. Further research is also required on the population, habitat and ecology and life history parameters. The fishery is largely unregulated (licenses being issued, but catches/ landings are not properly monitored), and presently there is no specific conservation actions in place to help address this problem.

In Australia, the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) in the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) has been compulsory since 2000 (Day 2000). The Northern Prawn Fishery Bycatch Action Plan (1998) also recommends that bycatch reduction targets be established and that bycatch levels be monitored (Day 2000).

Citation: Manjaji, B.M., Fahmi & White, W.T. 2009. Himantura jenkinsii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161744A5493714. . Downloaded on 29 June 2016.
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