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Tetrapturus pfluegeri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES ISTIOPHORIDAE

Scientific Name: Tetrapturus pfluegeri
Species Authority: Robins & de Sylva, 1963
Common Name(s):
English Longbill Spearfish
Spanish Aguja del Pacífico, Aguja Picuda, Marlin Trompa Larga, Romerillo
French Makaire à Longue Pectorale, Makaire Becune, Centrolophe Noir
Taxonomic Notes: Confused with the eastern Atlantic T. belone until described as a distinct species by Robins and de Sylva (1963).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-15
Assessor(s): Collette, B., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Teixeira Lessa, R.P. & Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E.
Reviewer(s): Russell, B., Elfes, C. & Polidoro, B.
Justification:
This species is widely distributed and common. There are no directed fisheries for this species, but it is taken as bycatch in longline fisheries and by recreational fishermen. Catches have been at the same moderate level for a long period of time and there is no evidence of decline. Therefore, this species is listed as Least Concern.
For further information about this species, see TUNAS_SkiJumpEffect.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widely distributed in Atlantic offshore waters from 40°N to 35°S.

In Brazil, this species has been frequently recorded between 20–33°S and 40–50°W (Amorim pers. comm. 2010). It has also been recorded in northeast Brazil from 57–240 m depth (Nobrega et al. 2009).
Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Benin; Bermuda; Brazil; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; French Guiana; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Liberia; Martinique; Mauritania; Mexico; Montserrat; Morocco; Namibia; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Panama; Portugal; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Suriname; Togo; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are no fisheries that target this species. It is incidentally caught by anglers (Nakamura 1985). Historically, it was reported together with ICCAT Sailfish catches and now sometimes confused with Roundscale Spearfish (Graves pers. comm. 2010).

Reported catches for this species fluctuate widely (FAO 2009).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a pelagic, oceanic species. It is chiefly found in offshore waters, usually above the thermocline. It feeds on pelagic fishes and squids.

Maximum size exceeds 200 cm in body length and 58 kg in weight. Longevity is probably four years. No sexual dimorphism is reported. First spawning probably occurs at the end of the first year and few females apparently survive beyond a second spawning. Females probably spawn once a year. Spawning takes place throughout wide areas of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic from late November to early May. Eggs are undescribed (Robins 1975, Nakamura 1985, de Sylva and Breder 1997, Richards and Luthy 2005).

In northeast Brazil, only juvenile and resting individuals have been collected. Therefore the region is considered a resting ground, not a spawning area (Souza et al. 1994). Maximum size recorded is 161 cm lower jaw FL (Amorim 1979).

In the Caribbean, gonad index values for females were present from May to August (Arocha et al. 2007).

The all-tackle angling record is of a 58 kg fish caught off Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands in 1999 (IGFA 2011).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Primarily taken as bycatch, not as a targeted commercial species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is primarily taken as bycatch by longline fisheries, but also by purse seines, trolling, by some artisanal gears and also by various sport fisheries located in both sides of the Atlantic. The increasing use of anchored fish aggregating devices (FADs) by various artisanal and sport fisheries is possibly increasing the vulnerability of these stocks (STECF 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Listed as a highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Size limitations, encouragement of catch-and-release sport fishing, and recommendations for using circle hooks instead of J-hooks are measures designed to increase survival in catch-and-release sport fishing (Collette 2010).

The EU Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) is concerned about the lack of attention given to this species, because it might be affected by the same problems of other billfish species. STECF recommends that this species should be accurately monitored (STECF 2009).

Citation: Collette, B., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Teixeira Lessa, R.P. & Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E. 2011. Tetrapturus pfluegeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.
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