Torpedo adenensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Torpedinidae

Scientific Name: Torpedo adenensis Carvalho, Stehmann & Manilo, 2002
Common Name(s):
English Aden Torpedo, Aden Gulf Torpedo
Taxonomic Source(s): Weigmann, S. 2016. Annotated checklist of the living sharks, batoids and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of the world, with a focus on biogeographical diversity. Journal of Fish Biology 88(3): 837-1037.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-02-05
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M., Ali, K., Grandcourt, E. & Tesfamichael, D.
Reviewer(s): Pollom, R. & Jabado, R.
Contributor(s): Jabado, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Jabado, R., Kyne, P.M.
The Aden Torpedo (Torpedo adenensis) is known only from a very restricted area of the eastern Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen in depths of 26-230 m. Its extent of occurrence is estimated to be less than 2,000 km², and it is known from three distinct locations in that range. Shrimp trawls operate across the entire distribution of the species, with a suspected continuing decline in the number of mature individuals from bycatch mortality in ongoing indiscriminate trawling (survivorship of discarded electric rays is low). It is thus assessed as Endangered under criterion B1ab(v).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Aden Torpedo is endemic to the Arabian Seas region and is known only from three distinct adjacent localities from the eastern Gulf of Aden, close to the Yemen coastline (Carvalho et al. 2002, Last et al. 2016). Its known distribution is estimated to be less than 2,000 km², although the species may be slightly wider-ranging than presently known.
Countries occurrence:
Yemen (South Yemen)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:2000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Number of Locations:3Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:Unknown
Lower depth limit (metres):230
Upper depth limit (metres):26
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population size and trends for this species are unknown, but its restricted distribution implies that the population size is small. A continuing decline in the number of mature individuals is suspected from the operation of trawl fisheries across its known range.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:Unknown
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:UnknownAll individuals in one subpopulation:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Aden Torpedo occurs on the narrow continental shelf of the Yemen Gulf of Aden coastline, being recorded from depths of 26-230 m (Carvalho et al. 2002). The species is known from only a handful of specimens (n=5) and so little is known of its biology. It reaches a maximum size of 40.7 cm total length (TL); male subadult at 29.5 cm TL, male adult from 39.0 cm TL (Carvalho et al. 2002), but exact size at maturity is unknown.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

No utilization or commercial trade of this species is currently known to exist. It is likely that most fishermen in the region discard this species at sea.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Commercial shrimp trawling occurs across the known range of this species. The Yemen shrimp trawl fishery is ongoing, but has varied in terms of effort recently (Tesfamichael et al. 2012), although there have been attempts to further develop Yemeni fisheries (R.W. Jababo pers. comm. 05/02/2017). The species' benthic nature makes it susceptible to capture in trawl gear. Given its restricted range, and ongoing trawling, the population is likely to become depleted through bycatch mortality. Survivorship of discarded electric rays is low. It is also potentially caught as bycatch in gillnet fisheries along the Yemeni coast.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Currently there are no conservation actions in place that might benefit this species in the waters it which it occurs. Surveys are required to determine population status and distribution, as is an analysis of Yemen shrimp trawl bycatch of this, and other elasmobranch species. Fishery management, including trawl fishery exclusion zones could contribute towards the conservation of this and other benthic species.

Citation: Kyne, P.M., Ali, K., Grandcourt, E. & Tesfamichael, D. 2017. Torpedo adenensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T60131A109897319. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
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