Centrophorus niaukang


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Centrophorus niaukang
Species Authority: Teng, 1959
Common Name(s):
English Quelvacho Chino, Taiwan Gulper Shark
French Squale-chagrin Guelvacho
Centrophorus robustus Deng, Xiong, & Zhan, 1986
Taxonomic Notes: There has been considerable confusion of this species with many others, e.g. sympatric Centrophorus granulosus or C. uyato (and possibly other species) in many areas. Last and Stevens (1994) identified C. niaukang as C. granulosus (at least in part), and C. granulosus as C. uyato.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Fowler, S.L. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)
Reviewer(s): Shark Specialist Group Australia & Oceania Regional Group, Fowler, S. & Musick, J.A. (Shark Red List Authority)
Deepwater gulper sharks are highly vulnerable to population depletion through fisheries bycatch because of their highly K-selected biology. This species is very widely, but patchily distributed world-wide. Records are sparse and it is probably not abundant. The virtually complete absence of data on extent of occurrence, population size, or any indicator of population trend might be considered to warrant a Data Deficient assessment, but a Near Threatened assessment reflects widespread concern that bycatch of this biologically highly-vulnerable species has been occurring and will continue to occur in deepwater fisheries, possibly through a significant proportion of this species' range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Wide, if sporadic, range in the Atlantic and Indo-West Pacific, on outer continental shelves and upper slopes.
Australia; Japan (Kyushu); Maldives; Morocco; Mozambique; Seychelles (Aldabra); South Africa; Spain (Canary Is.); Taiwan, Province of China; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population and subpopulation size unknown; common in some areas, not in others.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs on or near the seabed on outer continental shelves and upper slopes at 98 to 1,000 m. Eats bony fishes, small dogfish sharks, skates, squid and crustaceans. Ovoviviparous (aplacental viviparous) with one to six (mostly four to six) pups per litter, born at 30 to 45 cm total length (TL). Matures at around 110 cm (males) to 140 cm (females) with maximum length approximately 170 cm. Although there is limited information on the biology of this species, gulper sharks are considered to have very low rates of population increase and to be very vulnerable to over-exploitation by fisheries. For example, Graham et al. (1997) report documented declines of 99.5% in abundance of Centrophorus species off southern New South Wales, Australia, where this species is known to occur in small numbers.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Targeted widely (Northeast Atlantic, southern Africa, the Maldives, Australia, China, Taiwan and probably elsewhere) by line and trawl fisheries for its liver oil, which is rich in squalene, and meat for human consumption. Also a bycatch of mixed species deepwater trawl fisheries. Identification problems compounded by an absence of routine data collection at species level in most of these fisheries means that there are no available data on trends in catch per unit effort in most of these fisheries, but where such data are available significant declines have been recorded.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures currently in place for this species.

Citation: Fowler, S.L. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Centrophorus niaukang. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 25 May 2015.
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