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Neoharriotta pumila

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CHIMAERIFORMES RHINOCHIMAERIDAE

Scientific Name: Neoharriotta pumila
Species Authority: Didier & Stehmann, 1996
Common Name(s):
English Arabian Sicklefin Chimaera
Taxonomic Notes: A record of an egg capsule from the Indian Ocean identified as Harriotta indica (Balakrishnan 1962), as well as records of H. pinnata in the Arabian Sea and Southwest India (Manilo and Movchan 1989, Silas and Selvaraj 1980) probably refer to this species.

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:
Neoharriotta pumila is a recently recognized species known from only a small number of specimens that have been collected in research trawls. This appears to be a dwarf species of rhinochimaerid with a maximum total length of about 65 cm and sexual maturity in males and females is probably reached at about 20 cm body length. There is no evidence to suggest the species is commercially fished or utilised in any way and with a depth range of 100 to 1,120 m this species likely occurs in waters too deep to be encountered in any local artisanal or recreational fishery. There appear to be no other reported captures of this species outside of those collected in research trawls. The population may be relatively small and at present is only known from the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but may be more widely distributed in the northwest Indian Ocean. This species could potentially be threatened by habitat degradation and/or depletion of the population due to fishery activities in the future, but does not appear to face any immediate threats at present. More specimens and research is needed to clarify its distribution and provide biological data, and in order to accurately determine its conservation status.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Presently known only from the northwestern Indian Ocean. Known range is restricted to the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden off Somalia and Socotra Island (Yemen). This species may also occur off southwest India and may have a wider distribution in the Indian Ocean, particularly at depths of 1,000 m or more.
Countries:
Native:
Somalia; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – western
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: At present this species is known only from a single population with a range restricted to the northwest Indian Ocean. Very few specimens have been collected and no other data with regard to population structure are available.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Benthic slope dweller, probably preferring rocky, muddy or silty bottoms of the shelf edge and upper to middle slope at depths of 100 to 1,120 m. Oviparous, but nothing is known of reproduction or spawning. Diet probably consists primarily of benthic invertebrates, particularly bivalves and polychaetes.

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (total/body length): Probably 50 to 55 cm TL; 20 cm BDL (male and female).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length): ~65 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): There is no evidence to suggest immediate threats at present; however there is the potential threat of habitat degradation and/or increased capture due to alterations of the local environment and in particular increased fishing effort in deeper water which may result in capture of this species primarily as bycatch but also possibly as a target fishery.

Current capture records indicate this may be a rare species with only a small, localised population, and as such any potential threats could have a severe impact.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None are in place at present. More specimens are needed in order to conduct additional research and collect much needed data on biology, ecology and distribution of this 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 N. pumila.

Citation: Dagit, D.D. 2006. Neoharriotta pumila. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 August 2014.
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