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Scyliorhinus capensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CARCHARHINIFORMES SCYLIORHINIDAE

Scientific Name: Scyliorhinus capensis
Species Authority: (Müller & Henle, 1838)
Common Name(s):
English Dogfish, Lazy Shark, Spotted Lazyshark, White-spotted Dogfish, Yellowspotted Catshark
French Roussette À Taches Jaunes
Spanish Alitán De Manchas Amarillas
Taxonomic Notes: This species has also been recorded from India (Günther 1870, Day 1878; based on a stuffed specimen in the British Museum of Natural History) and Pakistan (Quereshi 1972). Bass et al. (1975) suggests that this is a different species (see Compagno in prep. b).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Compagno, L.J.V., Krose M. & Brash, J.
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S.L., Human, B. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Scyliorhinus capensis is a relatively large yellow spotted catshark endemic to southern Namibia and most of South Africa. It is moderately common on the offshore banks, which are heavily fished by a large demersal hake trawl fishery. They are taken as discarded bycatch in this fishery and may also be affected by habitat degradation from trawling. Catch and trend data are lacking, but there is concern that rates of bycatch may be unsustainable. Although there are regions within the range of the hake fishery that are untrawlable, which likely serve as refuges for S. capensis (particularly given that they seem to prefer rocky reefs to soft bottom habitat), the species is assessed as Near Threatened because of concern regarding bycatch levels. Population trends require monitoring.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: A limited distribution in Eastern South Atlantic and Western Indian Ocean, common inshore to offshore on the continental shelf and upper slope of South Africa, uncommon to rare northwestwards to KwaZulu-Natal and northeastwards to Namibia. Depths recorded 26 to 530 m, possibly confined to deep water (420 m) off KwaZulu Natal than off the Cape Provinces of South Africa, where it occurs in shallow bays such as False Bay and Table Bay (Compagno in prep. b). This may be an example of tropical submergence, in which minimum depth range becomes greater in warmer waters.
Countries:
Native:
Namibia; South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape 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: Possible single population throughout its range.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Oviparous, laying one egg from each of the paired oviducts at a time, rate of deposition per year unknown. Maximum total length 122 cm, but most of over 200 specimens examined were below 100 cm. Size at hatching near 25 to 27 cm (size of smallest free-living individual). Males immature at 27 to 84 cm, adolescent at 61 to 83 cm, and adult at 72 to 102 cm. Females immature at 25 to 73 cm, adolescent at 55 to 80 cm, and adult at 75 to 88 cm (Bass et al. 1975, Compagno et al. 1989). Both adults and juveniles tend to occupy rocky reef habitats more than soft bottom substrates (D. Ebert, pers.comm. 2004).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is not targeted, but regularly caught, mostly as unutilised bycatch in the large demersal South African hake trawl fishery, and probably in other benthic fisheries. Its chief fishery, the trawl fishery for hake species, is regulated but based on sustainability for hake, not for this or other elasmobranchs of the hake fishing zone. No statistics are available on catches. It is also occasionally caught by skiboat anglers and of minor interest in the international aquarium trade. Habitat degradation may occur as a result of trawling on the fishing grounds where it occurs, although there should be some areas of refuge over untrawlable grounds. None of its habitat is legally protected.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Need for monitoring of bycatch and potential habitat degradation by demersal trawl fisheries.

Citation: Compagno, L.J.V., Krose M. & Brash, J. 2004. Scyliorhinus capensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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