|Red List Category & Criteria:
||Neer, J.A., Freedman, R.M., Lowe, C.G & Jang, J.J.
||Haas, D.L. & Lawson, J.
||Walls, R.H.L., Ebert, D.A. & Dulvy, N.K.
The Pacific Electric Ray (Torpedo californica) has a restricted distribution in relatively shallow, inshore waters occurring at depths between 3-274 m on the west coast of North America. While it ranges from Baja California to Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, it is most common south of Point Conception, California. It targeted for its electric organs by the biomedical industry in very low numbers, and is also bycatch in commercial fisheries. While the population trend for this particular species is unknown, landings data suggest that it is rarely encountered in commercial fisheries in north and central California, and recreational catch is limited. Little is known about this species biology and ecology, but it is estimated to have a generation time of 12.5 years. Given that landings of skates and rays are stable where data are available, and that this species appears to be relatively uncommon in reported landings, Pacific Torpedo is assessed as Least Concern throughout its range.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
- 2005 – Least Concern (LC)
- 2000 – Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
|Range Description:||Pacific Torpedo is the only member of the family Torpedinidae occurring along the west coast of the United States (Eschmeyer et al. 1983). This species ranges from Sebastian Viscaino Bay, Baja California to Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, occurring at depths between 3-274 m (Miller and Lea 1972), and is most common south of Point Conception, California (Love 1996).|
Canada (British Columbia); Mexico; United States (California, Oregon, Washington)
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:|
Pacific – northeast; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southeast
|♦ Lower depth limit (metres):||274|
|♦ Upper depth limit (metres):||3|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||There are no population estimates or stock assessments available for Pacific Torpedo. In northern and central California bycatch fisheries, landings of Pacific Torpedo are minor, and are reported to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife through the Commercial Fisheries Information System (CFIS). While there is a market category for "Pacific electric ray," it is possible that this species is also landed under the market category of "unspecified ray." Landings data for all rays, collected by the California COFI, ranges from <1 t in 1978 to 25.5 t in 1987, averaging 11.7 t annually over the past 31 years. Landings of Rajiformes in California have remained relatively stable over the past 8 years (2000-2008; Sweetnam 2009). The vast majority of ray landings have been reported as Shovelnose Guitarfish (Rhinobatos productus), which make up 73% of the landings annually since 1978. The recreational fishery comprises only 3% of skate and ray landings in California, with the majority being commercial landings. While rays dominate these small recreational landings, Pacific Torpedo is not among the most commonly landed species, which include Bat Ray (Myliobatis californica), Shovelnose Guitarfish, and Thornback Ray (Raja clavata). While the population trend for this particular species is unknown, landings data suggest that it is rarely encountered in commercial fisheries in California, and recreational and targeted catch is limited.|
|Current Population Trend:||Unknown|
|♦ Population severely fragmented:||No|