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Triakis megalopterus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CARCHARHINIFORMES TRIAKIDAE

Scientific Name: Triakis megalopterus
Species Authority: (Smith, 1839)
Common Name(s):
English Spotted Gully Shark
Synonym(s):
Mustelus megalopterus Smith, 1839

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2005-10-01
Assessor(s): Compagno, L.J.V.
Reviewer(s): Musick, J.A. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
This assessment is based on the information published in the 2005 shark status survey (Fowler et al. 2005).

The Spotted Gully Shark (Triakis megalopterus) is an uncommon inshore species with limited distribution in waters off South Africa, Namibia and southern Angola. The species is exploited by unregulated shark fisheries.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Found in the eastern south Atlantic and western Indian Ocean in temperate coastal waters of southern Angola, Namibia and South Africa (Northern, Western and Eastern Cape coasts, rarely north-east to KwaZulu-Natal).
Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Namibia; South Africa
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is uncommon to locally common in the intertidal and surfline to less than 50 m (Compagno in prep. b).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: An inshore, bottom-dwelling shark of temperate coastal waters with a limited geographic and bathymetric range, found often in shallow water up to the surfline. It prefers sandy shores and rocks and crevices in shallow bays. During summertime this shark congregates in schools, particularly in False Bay and off the Cape Peninsula, Western Cape, South Africa, which may include pregnant females. Development is ovoviviparous, without a yolk-sac placenta and the number of young is 6-10 per litter. This shark eats crabs, bony fishes and small sharks (one had eaten a Scyliorhinus capensis) (Compagno in prep. b).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is a fairly large directed commercial shark demersal longline fishery centred in Gansbaai and False Bay in South Africa, which takes the Spotted Gully Shark as a minor bycatch along with the target species, Soupfin or Vaalhai (Galeorhinus galeus), and other more abundant bycatch species such as Common Smoothhound (Mustelus mustelus) and Bronze Whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus). There are no separate statistics available for commercial catches of Spotted Gully Sharks. The meat of such sharks is dried into shark "biltong" or jerky, which sells for a relatively high price locally, or is shipped fresh or frozen overseas (Italy or Taiwan (POC)). Also caught recreational anglers in South Africa and Namibia, but not eaten much locally although perfectly edible.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in at least one marine reserve, but it is not specifically protected. There is a proposal currently under consideration at Sea Fisheries Research Institute, the main fisheries research and body in South Africa, to decommercialise the spotted gully shark and protect it from expanding commercial export fisheries for small sharks, although it still could be caught by sports anglers.

Citation: Compagno, L.J.V. 2009. Triakis megalopterus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 August 2014.
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