Galeocerdo cuvier 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Carcharhinidae

Scientific Name: Galeocerdo cuvier (Péron & Lesueur, 1822)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Tiger Shark
Carcharias fasciatus Bleeker, 1852
Carcharias hemprichii Klunzinger, 1871
Galeocerdo arcticus (Faber, 1829)
Galeocerdo fasciatus van Kampen, 1907
Galeocerdo obtusus Klunzinger, 1871
Galeocerdo rayneri Macdonald & Barron, 1868
Galeocerdo tigrinus Müller & Henle, 1839
Galeus cepedianus Aggasiz, 1838
Galeus maculatus Ranzani, 1839
Squalus cuvier Péron & Lesueur, 1822
Squalus arcticus Faber, 1829
Taxonomic Source(s): Compagno, L.J.V. 1973. Carcharhinidae. In: J.-C. Hureau and T. Monod (eds), Check-list of the fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and of the Mediterranean (CLOFNAM). Volume 1, pp. 23-31. Unesco, Paris.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-12-08
Assessor(s): Simpfendorfer, C., Walls, R. & Soldo, A.
Reviewer(s): Dulvy, N.
Contributor(s): Fordham, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Walls, R. & Dulvy, N.

European regional assessment: Data Deficient (DD)

This large (up to more than 550 cm total length), omnivorous shark is common worldwide in tropical and warm-temperate coastal waters, though rarely encountered in the Northeast Atlantic or Mediterranean Sea. The widespread range of this species increases the likelihood of survival in the face of locally increased levels of exploitation. Its growth and reproductive rates are high compared with other sharks, suggesting higher resilience to overfishing. Despite the available information on Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), there is very little information available specific to the European region and hence it can be assessed no further than Data Deficient. Further research should be conducted on the distribution, population size and trend of the species, together with harvest management.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

In the Northeast Atlantic, this shark normally occurs in the south, including the Azores, Morocco and the Canary Islands. A vagrant from Iceland and an unconfirmed sighting from the English Channel have also been reported (Ebert and Stehmann 2013). The species’ occurrence in the Mediterranean Sea is doubtful, as only two records have been reported: the first off Malaga, Spain (Pinto de la Rosa 1994), and the second in Messina, Italy (Celona 2000), but both were based on the description of jaws. Its depth range is zero to 350 m.

Countries occurrence:
Morocco; Portugal (Azores); Spain (Canary Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):350
Range Map:39378-1

Population [top]


No information is available from the Northeast and Eastern Central Atlantic, nor the Mediterranean Sea for this shark; and it is unclear whether these areas of occurrence can be considered one continuous subpopulation. The only significant catch of this species reported to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) from the Northeast Atlantic in recent years was 37 tonnes (t) by Dutch trawlers in 2007. The same fleet reported a 30 t catch of the species in the Eastern Central Atlantic in 2008 (ICCAT Task-I). No trend can be deduced from this information, nor can it be considered a reliable representation of the catch.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

A Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) with a precaudal length of 200 cm is about five years old and one of 300 cm is about 15 years old (De Crosta et al. 1984). For very large animals, the initial growth is very fast, and then the rate of growth is 5-10 cm per year; thus, individuals of 400-450 cm total length (TL) would be 20-25 years of age (Branstetter et al. 1987). The estimated maximum age is 45-50 years (Branstetter et al. 1987). Smith et al. (1998) estimated the intrinsic rate of increase of a Tiger Shark population at maximum sustainable yield to be 0.043 per year. Size at maturity of males is 226-290 cm TL and in females 250-350 cm TL (Randall 1992).

Tiger Shark is the only species of the family Carcharhinidae that is live bearing with yolk sac-only nutrition. Litter sizes are large, with between 10 and 82 embryos reported from a single female, and an estimated mean of 30-35 pups (Tester 1969, Bass et al. 1975, Simpfendorfer 1992). The size at birth is 51-90 cm TL (Randall 1992, Simpfendorfer 1992). The estimated gestation period is 13-16 months (Clark and von Schmidt 1965). 


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Parts of this shark are retained and used, including the flesh, fins, skin, liver oil and cartilage. The fins, skin and liver oil from Tiger Shark are all considered to be of high quality and can fetch good prices. The high value of products has increased commercial fishing pressure on this species worldwide, especially since demand for high quality shark fins has increased.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Tiger Shark is taken as bycatch in a variety of fisheries including tuna and swordfish longline fisheries (Anderson 1985, Berkeley and Campos 1988), particularly those operating on, or close to, the continental and insular shelves. It is also taken in trawl fisheries (e.g., squid, fish, and crustacean trawl fisheries), although normally in small numbers. There are few records of Tiger Shark catches for any of these fisheries. Tiger Sharks are undoubtedly caught in tropical and subtropical artisanal fisheries, though gear limitations in these fisheries probably preclude the capture of large numbers, especially of larger individuals. There are few published data on artisanal fishery captures and it is not possible to quantify catches or the effect that these may have on Tiger Shark populations. The species is fished recreationally and has International Game Fish Association (IGFA) status, the current record being 596 kg. More recently recreational catches have declined, and tagging and release has become more common. Recreational fishing is likely to account for significant mortality in Tiger Shark populations in coastal waters of some countries.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

In 2013, the European Union (EU) banned the removal of shark fins on board vessels through Regulation No. 605/2013, in line with advice from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission’s Shark Specialist Group and other shark fishery experts, in order to enhance enforcement of the 2003 EU ban on shark finning (Regulation No. 1185/2003) and facilitate improved shark fishery data collection.

There are no species-specific conservation or management measures in place for Tiger Shark in European waters. Further research should be conducted on the distribution, population size and trend of the species, and harvest management should also be undertaken.

Citation: Simpfendorfer, C., Walls, R. & Soldo, A. 2015. Galeocerdo cuvier. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T39378A48926348. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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