Proscymnodon plunketi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Squaliformes Somniosidae

Scientific Name: Proscymnodon plunketi
Species Authority: (Waite, 1910)
Common Name(s):
English Plunket's Dogfish, Plunket's Shark, Waite's Dogfish
Centroscymnus plunketi (Waite, 1910)
Taxonomic Notes: Transferred from Centroscymnus.

Synonyms = Centrophorus plunketi Waite, 1910; Scymnodon plunketi (Waite, 1910); Centroscymnus plunketi (Waite, 1910); Centrophorus waitei Thompson, 1930 [juv.].

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Paul, L. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)
Reviewer(s): Shark Specialist Group Australia & Oceania Regional Group (Shark Red List Authority)
A relatively uncommon deepwater shark within its known geographic range (parts of Australasia, perhaps now extended to southern Africa), although it may extend deeper than is currently recognised. Captured as bycatch in small but erratic quantities in some deepwater line and trawl fisheries, although presumably from only part of its known range. This species is of much lower abundance than the sympatric C. owstoni and its larger size and aggregating behaviour make it more susceptible to capture. The species appears to be of low productivity and if the population is mobile and migrates into and/or aggregates on exploited fishing grounds from other parts of its potentially small range, any increases in catches from increasing deepwater fisheries should be viewed with concern. These factors warrant a Near Threatened assessment.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Southern Indo-Pacific. South-eastern Australia and New Zealand, but with a relatively wide depth range from 200 m to over 1,500 m, most often taken in depths of 500 to 1,000 m. Recently found off SE South Africa/Mozambique (Compagno, pers. comm.).

There is no information on whether the population off southern Australia (including seamounts to the south) is linked to the New Zealand population via seamounts and submarine ridges in the Lord Howe Rise in the Tasman Sea. It is unlikely that there is any physical connection with the population of "plunketi" recently located off southern Africa (Compagno, unpublished).
Countries occurrence:
Australia; Mozambique; New Zealand; South Africa
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information is available on the size of any population.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Marine, demersal, on the upper and middle continental slope, 200 to 1,500 m, usually 500 to 1,000 m. Occurs mainly around central and southern New Zealand. There is a trend for fish size to increase with depth, with the largest females in deepest water. It is probable that the species extends to greater depths than those sampled. Some early literature suggested that this was among the more abundant deepwater sharks off New Zealand; this may be true at some localities, but more extensive trawling in recent years shows this not to be generally true. It is not considered likely that this reflects a decline in abundance in recent decades. Trawl surveys off southeastern Australia yielded infrequent but large catches of C. plunketi, suggesting aggregations.

Born ~35 cm. Mature 100 to 120 cm (male), 130 to 145 cm (female). Maximum 170 cm. Ovoviparous with up to 36 pups per litter. Gestation period and reproductive cycle unknown.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): A small bycatch in some deepwater line and trawl fisheries. Its aggregating behaviour makes it susceptible to localised depletion. There is some danger that because its geographic and depth range coincides with that for some important teleost fisheries its relatively low (apparent) population will continue to decline with continuing and/or expanding fisheries.

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Citation: Paul, L. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003). 2003. Proscymnodon plunketi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T46865A11087416. . Downloaded on 18 August 2017.
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