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Harriotta haeckeli

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CHIMAERIFORMES RHINOCHIMAERIDAE

Scientific Name: Harriotta haeckeli
Species Authority: Karrer, 1972
Common Name/s:
English Smallspine Spookfish
Spanish Quimera De Espina Pequeña
Taxonomic Notes: Two very small juveniles were originally described by Bigelow and Schroeder as H. raleighana. However, it was recognised by Karrer in her 1972 description of H. haeckli, and by others, that some references to H. raleighana from the Canary Islands may actually be referred to H. haeckeli.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor/s: Dagit, D.D.
Reviewer/s: Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L. & Compagno, L.J.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
At present, Harriotta haeckeli is known from only a few specimens from the Northwest Atlantic off southern Greenland, the Eastern Central Atlantic off the Canary Islands and the Southwest Pacific off New Zealand. A benthic species occurring on deepwater slopes and troughs at depths of 1,114 to 2,002 m around New Zealand and 1,970 to 2,603 m in the Atlantic. Recent deep water trawling around New Zealand has revealed a number of specimens from that region, whereas capture records from the Atlantic are rare. The species may be more abundant and widespread in deeper water, particularly in regions where surveys and deepwater fishing efforts are limited at present. Nothing is known of biology, ecology, reproduction or population structure and size. Not known to be commercially fished but may be caught as bycatch in deepwater bottom trawls. Current evidence suggests this is a rare species and populations may be threatened in the future by deepwater fishing operations, particularly if they continue to expand globally.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Currently known from the Northwest Atlantic off Greenland, the Eastern Central Atlantic off the Canary Islands, and the Southwest Pacific from New Zealand. Capture records from the Atlantic are rare, but recent deepwater trawling around New Zealand has revealed a number of specimens from that region. Capture records indicate this species occurs at depths greater than 1,000 m and may be more abundant in deeper waters where surveys are presently more limited. In particular, it is possible the range of this species is more continuous throughout the North Atlantic but has not been captured due to the dearth of fishery operations in waters deeper than 1,000 m.

This species has also been reported from the Northwest Atlantic off New York (Krefft 1990) however, this report has not been confirmed.
Countries:
Native:
Greenland; New Zealand; Spain (Canary Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northwest; Pacific – southwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Nothing is known of population size or structure. May occur more widely in the North Atlantic than presently known, particularly at depths near the deeper part of their range (2,000 m or greater).

It is likely that H. haeckeli in the North Atlantic is a single subpopulation with a separate subpopulation in the Southwest Pacific off New Zealand.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Benthic, on deepwater slopes and troughs, at depths of 1,114 to 2,002 m around New Zealand and 1,970 to 2,603 m in the Atlantic.

Like all chimaeroids this species is oviparous, however no egg capsules or embryos have been collected for this species. It is assumed reproductive biology in this species is similar to that of other chimaeroids. Diet is unknown, but likely consists primarily of a variety of benthic invertebrates.

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (total body length): ~60 cm TL; ~25 cm BDL (female); ~45 cm TL; ~20 cm BDL (male).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length): ~72 cm TL.
Size at birth (cm): Unknown.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Unknown.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Not known to be commercially fished but may be caught in deepwater bottom trawls. Current evidence suggests this is a rare species and populations may be threatened by deepwater fishing operations, particularly if they continue to expand globally.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None are known to be in place. It is recommended that additional information on this species be collected. In particular, careful reporting of all captures will aid in understanding the geographic distribution of this species, and deposition of specimens in museum collections will enable further biological and molecular studies of the species.

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 sustainable management of all chondrichthyan species in the region. See Anon. (2004) for an update of progress made by nations in the range of H. haeckeli.
Citation: Dagit, D.D. 2006. Harriotta haeckeli. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 April 2014.
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