Apristurus melanoasper 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Apristurus melanoasper
Species Authority: Iglésias, Nakaya & Stehmann, 2004
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Black Roughscale Catshark
French Holbiche Noir
Apristurus sp. nov. C (Last and Stevens, 1994)
Taxonomic Notes: This species is most similar to A. laurussonii (Iglésias et al. 2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-01-01
Assessor(s): McCormack C. & Iglésias, S.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Stehmann, M.F.W. (Shark Red List Authority)
The Black Roughscale Catshark (Apristurus melanoasper) is a recently described deepwater catshark, found on the slope of the north Atlantic Ocean at 512-1,520 m but generally deeper than 1,000 m. It is reported from off France, Ireland, the British Isles and northern USA. The maximum recorded size for this species is 76.1 cm total length but virtually nothing is known of its biology. The Black Roughscale Catshark is an uncommon bycatch of commercial deepwater trawlers. Although its relatively wide depth range may afford the species some refuge from fishing pressure, there is a continuing trend for deepwater fishing activities in the northeast Atlantic. This is a poorly known species and it cannot be assessed beyond Data Deficient without further information on catch levels and population trends.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Data Deficient (DD)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Northeast Atlantic: off France, Ireland and the British Isles (Iglésias et al. 2004). Northwest Atlantic: off northern United States of America (Iglésias et al. 2004).
Countries occurrence:
France (France (mainland)); United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland); United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast
Lower depth limit (metres): 1520
Upper depth limit (metres): 512
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A recently described species, known from 53 specimens.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs on the slope at 512–1,520m but generally deeper than 1,000 m (Iglésias et al. 2004). Maximum recorded size is 76.1 cm total length (TL) (Iglésias et al. 2004). Size at maturity appeared to be smaller in females than males (whereas it is generally the opposite for sharks), however the species is known from relatively few specimens and more investigation is required to confirm the size at maturity (Iglésias et al. 2004). Reproduction is presumably oviparous, like other Apristurus species, but very little is known of the biology.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): An uncommon bycatch of commercial deepwater trawlers (S. Iglésias pers. comm. 2007). Areas of the northeast Atlantic, for example the Rockall Trough, have been subject to a fairly rapid increase in deepwater fishing activities since the 1990s with overall concern for the sustainability of deepwater fish stocks (Gordon 2003). This species appears to be more abundant on the Rockall Bank, where fewer boats operate, than on the continental slope where the Flathead Catshark (Apristurus laurussonii) is more abundant (S. Iglésias pers. comm. 2007).The species is generally recorded deeper than 1,000 m and the depth range may extend deeper than currently known, offering some refuge from fishing pressure. Despite this, it is still poorly known and may share the limiting life-history characteristics of other deepwater sharks making it vulnerable to depletion. Therefore any expansion in deepwater fishing effort could negatively impact this species. Further information is required on deepwater fishing activities (including catch and bycatch levels, effort and trend monitoring) in the North Atlantic and the threat status of this species should be reassessed when such information is available. However, there is a continuing trend of increasing deepwater fishing activities in the northeast Atlantic .

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Where taken, catches require monitoring, particularly as deepwater fisheries expand worldwide. The development and implementation of management plans (national and/or regional e.g., under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA-Sharks) are required to facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region.

Citation: McCormack C. & Iglésias, S. 2009. Apristurus melanoasper. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T42700A10744076. . Downloaded on 29 May 2016.
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