Apristurus ampliceps 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Apristurus ampliceps
Species Authority: Sasahara, Sato & Nakaya, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Roughskin Catshark
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-06-12
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Lisney, T.J.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Bigman, J.S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.

The Roughskin Catshark (Apristurus ampliceps) is a poorly-known deepwater shark. It has been recorded on the continental slope at depths of 840-1,500 m with a distribution around southern New Zealand and southern Australia (Tasmania, the South Tasman Rise and a small area off southern Western Australia). It reaches about 87 cm total length, but like many species of its genus, biology is virtually unknown. Its Australian occurrence is largely outside of the operating depth of fisheries, due to closures to trawling >700 m and the current closure of the South Tasman Rise Fishery. If fishing for Orange Roughy is reopened in deepwater areas off southern Australia, then bycatch levels of this and other deepwater sharks should be monitored. Off New Zealand it is a likely bycatch of trawl fisheries, although as relatively little fishing occurs below 1,200 m depth some of the population occurs beyond fishing depths. Despite being poorly-known the species is assessed as Least Concern due to its deep occurrence providing it refuge from fishing activities.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Data Deficient (DD)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Roughskin Catshark occurs off southern New Zealand, and parts of southern Australia (Tasmania, the South Tasman Rise, and a small area off southern Western Australia) (Last and Stevens 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Tasmania, Western Australia); New Zealand
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest
Lower depth limit (metres): 1500
Upper depth limit (metres): 840
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information on population size or structure.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Roughskin Catshark occurs on the continental slope at depths of 840-1,500 m (Last and Stevens 2009). This catshark is the largest member of the genus found in Australia. It reaches about 87 cm total length (TL), with males mature at about 78 cm TL and females possibly at 68 cm TL (Last and Stevens 2009). Biology is virtually unknown.
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not known to be utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

In Australian waters most of the depth range of this species is outside the activity of commercial trawl fisheries so it is expected that bycatch levels would be low to negligible. In the Commonwealth Trawl Sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery most areas below 700 m are closed to trawling, so there is no fishery operating in the depth range of this catshark in this area (Penney et al. 2014). The Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery operates within the range of this species off Western Australia, however current effort and catch is low with only two boats active in the 2012-13 fishing season (Marton and Mazur 2014). The South Tasman Rise Fishery is currently closed (Patterson and Mazur 2014). The situation may change if Orange Roughy fisheries are re-opened in the future.

Off New Zealand, the species is likely to be affected by trawl fisheries, including those for Orange Roughy and Oreos, which overlap with the depth range of the species. However, as relatively little fishing occurs below 1,200 m depth some of the population occurs beyond fishing depths.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Areas below 700 m closed to trawling off southeast Australia would provide refuge for this species at depth (Penney et al. 2014), as would some marine protected areas in the Australian Commonwealth Marine Reserve network.

Citation: Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Lisney, T.J. 2015. Apristurus ampliceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T42701A68608709. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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