Chimaera macrospina 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Chimaeriformes Chimaeridae

Scientific Name: Chimaera macrospina
Species Authority: Didier, Last & White, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Longspine Chimaera
Taxonomic Notes: .

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-18
Assessor(s): Theiss, S.M., Huveneers, C. & Ebert, D.A.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Contributor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
The Longspine Chimaera (Chimaera macrospina) has a patchy range, occurring along the continental slope off western and eastern Australia at depths of 435–1,300 m. Maximum size is to at least 75 cm total length. Due to an overlap in habitat, depth and geographic range, this species is a potential bycatch of benthic deepwater commercial trawl fisheries off both the western and eastern coasts of Australia. However, because it is mostly found at depths greater than 800 m, the potential threat from commercial trawlers typically operating at shallower depths is likely minimal. Given the low fishing effort in the depth range of this species it is assessed as Least Concern, though the level of catch and degree of overlap of deepwater fisheries should be monitored closely.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2011 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Longspine Chimaera (Chimaera macrospina) is found off Western Australia between Cape Naturaliste (33⁰20'S, 114⁰30'E), and North West Cape (19⁰39'S, 113⁰12'E), and off eastern Australia from Brush Island, New South Wales (35⁰32'S, 150⁰52'E) north to the Queensland Plateau, Queensland (16⁰54'S, 151⁰30'E) (Didier et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 1300
Upper depth limit (metres): 435
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are no details of relative abundance, connectivity, or population size, structure or trends for either of the two apparent areas in which this population occurs.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This chimaera occurs along the mid-continental slope of warm temperate and tropical Australia with a depth range of 435–1,300 m (Didier et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009), although it is more commonly found below 800 m (Last and Stevens 2009).

Very little information is available on the biology of this species. Maximum size is at least 75 cm total length (TL), 53 cm body length (BDL) (Didier et al. 2008). Like other chimaeroids, this species is most likely oviparous.

Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Longspine Chimaera is not utilized or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This chimaera is not commercially targeted, although a potential threat is incidental catch in benthic deepwater trawls targeting teleost fish off the coast of western and eastern Australia. Both the Australian Commonwealth-managed Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery (Western Australia), operating in waters exceeding 200 m, and Coral Sea Fishery (Trap and Trawl Sector - Queensland), operating in depths from only a few metres down to 1,500 m, coincide with areas where this species is known to occur (Marton and Mazur 2014, Noriega et al. 2014). While trawl and trap gear have the potential to capture this species, fishing effort is low for both fisheries, with few active vessels in recent years and with no Coral Sea trawling since the 2006-07 fishing season (Noriega et al. 2014) and this species is most commonly found in depths greater than 800 m (Last and Stevens 2009) which may allow refuge from fisheries operating at shallower depths. Similarly, the range overlaps with the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, although most areas below 700 m are closed to trawling (Georgeson et al. 2014).

Two Queensland State-managed commercial fisheries, the Deep Water Fin Fish Fishery and the East Coast Otter Trawl fishery, also overlap with this chimaera's range. Most of the fishing effort in the Deep Water Fin Fish Fishery is low, with only 4 active licenses, and occurs mainly in areas where the 200 m depth contour is relatively close to the coast (DEEDI 2010), whereas the deepwater eastern king prawn sector of the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery, which is a much larger fishery, operates at depths down to 300 m (Courtney and Prosser 2009). Due to its deepwater preferences, it is unlikely that this species is captured in either of these fisheries. Individuals caught in commercial fisheries may potentially be released alive, although post-release survival rate is unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

No conservation actions are currently in place for this species and information regarding its biology is required. There is no regular monitoring of bycatch in commercial fisheries, so catch and trend information, which is vital to inform management, are lacking. However, this species is most commonly found in depths greater than 800 m, which provides it with a refuge from most fishing activities.

Citation: Theiss, S.M., Huveneers, C. & Ebert, D.A. 2015. Chimaera macrospina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T195430A68617345. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided