Atelomycterus macleayi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Atelomycterus macleayi
Species Authority: Whitley, 1939
Common Name(s):
English Australian Marbled Catshark, Marbled Catshark

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-05-08
Assessor(s): White, W.T.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Contributor(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
The Australian Marbled Catshark (Atelomycterus macleayi) is a small species (to 60 cm total length) endemic to northwest Australia and restricted to very shallow water habitats (to 60 m depth; often very close inshore). Little is known about the biology of this species. It may be a discarded bycatch in local fish and prawn trawl fisheries. However, there are significant areas permanently closed to trawling where it occurs, so it receives refuge in these areas. Furthermore, its occurrence on rocky habitats in remote coastal regions also provide it refuge from fishing. Due to the limited fishing activity within its known range it is unlikely that the population is declining or under any immediate threat. The Australian Marbled Catshark is therefore assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Australian Marbled Catshark is confined to tropical Australia between Port Hedland in Western Australia to Melville Island in the Northern Territory (Last and Stevens 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 60
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Nothing is known of the population size or trend of this species, although reportedly abundant along the Northern Territory coast (Last and Stevens 2009).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This catshark is reported from shallow, inshore regions on both sandy and rocky benthic habitats to at least 60 m depth (Springer 1979, Last and Stevens 2009). It is reported to attain a maximum length of 60 cm total length (TL), with males maturing at 48 cm TL and females at 51 cm TL, and hatching at approximately 10 cm TL (Last and Stevens 2009). This species is oviparous (Springer 1979).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not known to be used or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although very little is known about this species, it is of no commercial value and it is unlikely that the population is under any major threat. Western Australia prawn and fish trawl fisheries are the only fisheries likely to catch this inshore species as bycatch but generally effort is relatively low with areas of spatial closures which allow refuge from trawling. It is a possible discarded bycatch in the Western Australian Pilbara Fish Trawl Fishery and some local prawn trawl fisheries, and in the Commonwealth-managed Northern Prawn Fishery. However, its occurrence in very shallow inshore waters (often very close inshore) and in rocky habitats in very remote coastal areas of northwestern Australia would reduce the likelihood of interactions with trawl fisheries.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place. Further investigation into the population structure and biology is required. Species composition data from the trawl fisheries operating across its range would provide an opportunity to indirectly measure abundance and population trends. All sharks and rays are commercially protected under Western Australian law. This regulation essentially restricts the retention of all shark and ray products by commercial fishing vessels other than those operating in the State's managed shark fishery. Considerable areas of Western Australia's North Coast Bioregion are permanently closed to all trawling through spatial management arrangements, and there have been reductions in effort quota in the Pilbara Fish Trawl Fishery since 2009 (Fletcher and Santoro 2014).

Citation: White, W.T. 2015. Atelomycterus macleayi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T41729A68610061. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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