Centroscymnus coelolepis 

Scope: Mediterranean
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Squaliformes Somniosidae

Scientific Name: Centroscymnus coelolepis Barbosa du Bocage & de Brito Capello, 1864
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Portuguese Dogfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-03-25
Assessor(s): Dureuil, M. & Jung, A.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Allen, D.J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Walls, R.H.L.

Mediterranean regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

The Portuguese Dogfish (Centroscymnus coelolepis) is a medium-sized (up to 121 cm total length) bentho-pelagic species found from 1,301–3,850 m depth in Mediterranean waters. Although life history information is limited, it is known to have low fecundity and likely has other characteristics similar to related deepwater species, such as very slow growth, late onset of sexual maturity, and a long gestation period. This suggests a low intrinsic rate of population increase.

In the Mediterranean Sea, this species' depth range is outside the scope of existing fisheries. Data on the status of this subpopulation are scarce, but there is no evidence of population decline based on a lack of interaction with fisheries and scientific surveys. The Portuguese Dogfish is therefore assessed as Least Concern in the Mediterranean Sea.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Portuguese Dogfish is found in the western Mediterranean Sea (Ebert and Stehmann 2013) and around Greece to the east (Priede and Bagley 2000), considered to be a separate subpopulation from the Atlantic (Clò et al. 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Greece (East Aegean Is., Kriti); Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Morocco; Spain (Baleares, Spain (mainland)); Tunisia; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):3850
Upper depth limit (metres):1301
Range Map:41747-3

Population [top]


In the absence of survey, catch, or landings data from the Mediterranean Sea, it is suspected that this subpopulation is stable based on a lack of interaction with fishing activity.

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The Mediterranean subpopulation of this medium-sized bentho-pelagic shark occurs deeper than subpopulations in the Atlantic and Pacific (Clò et al. 2002). Bottom trawl surveys indicate a Mediterranean depth range of 1,301–3,850 m (Grey 1956, Priede and Bagley 2000, Clò et al. 2002, Massutí and Moranta 2003, Sion et al. 2004). In trawl surveys in the western Mediterranean Sea (Balearic Islands), Massutí and Moranta (2003) recorded this species from 1,301–1,700 m and Sion et al. (2004) from 1,500–2,500 m. Both studies reported the species as more abundant with greater depths surveyed. The Portuguese Dogfish was also recorded in the eastern basin at 1,500–2,500 m in the Cretan Sea and 2,300–3,850 m in the Rhodos Basin (Priede and Bagley 2000). There is evidence of size segregation by depth, with smaller individuals at greater depths and pregnant females at shallower depths.

This live bearing with yolk sac species produces eight to 21 pups, but the gestation period is currently unknown. Size at birth is ~23−30 cm total length (TL; Girard and DuBuit 1999, Clarke et al. 2001). Size at maturity occurs at 86 and 102 cm for males and females, respectively. Maximum size in European waters is 109 cm TL for males and 121 cm TL for females (Girard and DuBuit 1999, Clarke et al. 2005). Age at maturity is inferred from the morphologically similar Longnose Velvet Dogfish (Centroselachus crepidater) to be ~15 years, longevity ~60 years, and generation length ~37.5 years.

Generation Length (years):37.5
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This shark has historically been exploited commercially for its liver oil and flesh, but at present it is not exploited in the Mediterranean region.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There is a lack of information relating to this species from Mediterranean fisheries or deepwater surveys, which implies a negligible overlap (if any) with its very deepwater range. Indeed, the ban on deepwater fishing below 1,000 m should (if enforced) offer the species complete refuge from exploitation in these waters based on its known regional depth range. There are therefore no known major threats to the species in these waters at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific measures in place. In February 2005 the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean adopted the Decision to refrain from expanding deepwater fisheries operations below depths of 1,000 m, which entered into force in September 2005 (FAO 2005). The effectiveness and enforcement of this measure are unknown; however, if it were to be effective, the entire known depth range of this species should be protected from fishing activity.

Citation: Dureuil, M. & Jung, A. 2016. Centroscymnus coelolepis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41747A16527869. . Downloaded on 21 March 2018.
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