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Rhinochimaera africana 

Scope: Global
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Chimaeriformes Rhinochimaeridae

Scientific Name: Rhinochimaera africana
Species Authority: Compagno, Stehmann & Ebert, 1990
Common Name(s):
English Paddlenose Spookfish, Paddlenose Chimaera
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. and Van der Laan, R. (eds). 2016. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 2 May 2016. Available at: http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp. (Accessed: 2 May 2016).
Taxonomic Notes: Synonym: Rhinochimaera pacifica Kobayashi and Sakura (1967), Nakaya (1984a, 1984b), Inada (1997), Shao and Hwang (1997).
This species had long been misidentified in Japan as Rhinochimaera pacifica, and it was not until 1990 that the species was described from southern Africa and subsequently identified as separate from Rhinochimaera pacifica from Japan and Taiwan.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-02-24
Assessor(s): Dagit, D.D.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Contributor(s): Kyne, P.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
Justification:
The Paddlenose Spookfish (Rhinochimaera africana) has a patchy known distribution off southern Africa, northwest Australia and the Northwest Pacific. It generally occurs on deepwater slopes and seamounts at depths of 550–1,450 m. Very little is known about this species and nothing is known of the biology, ecology or reproduction. In Taiwan, this species is taken as bycatch when encountered, and is landed in fish markets. Not known to be taken elsewhere, but likely forms a component of bycatch where deepwater trawling overlaps with its range. Landing of this species in Taiwan appears to be a more recent occurrence, suggesting that fishers are moving into deeper waters, probably as a result of the depletion of shallower water resources. As such, there is a potential threat to populations and habitats due to deepwater trawl fishery operations as well as increased attention toward new deepwater target species as more lucrative species are overfished. At present, little information is available on the species and there is a great need for more information on its distribution, biology and bycatch in order to accurately assess its status.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The known range of the Paddlenose Spookfish is patchy with confirmed reports from the southeast Atlantic Ocean and southwest Indian Ocean off southern Africa and the Mozambique Channel, the East China Sea from Taiwan to Hokkaido, Japan including the Okinawa Trough, and northwest Australia (Compagno et al. 1990, Didier and Nakaya 1999, Last and Stevens 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Australia (Western Australia); China; Japan; Mozambique; South Africa; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1450
Upper depth limit (metres):550
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Nothing is known of population structure although populations from the Northwest Pacific and Indian Ocean may be distinct. It is also possible that this species forms a more continuous widespread population throughout the Indian Ocean and Northwest Pacific.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Paddlenose Spookfish is a deepwater and benthic chimaeroid, generally occurring on deepwater slopes and seamounts at depths of 450–1,450 m (Last and Stevens 2009). The single Australian record was taken at a depth of 885–905 m (Last and Stevens 2009). Reaches a maximum size of  ~150 cm total length (65 cm body length (BDL); females generally larger than males); size at maturity ~50 cm BDL (female); ~40–50 cm BDL (male).
Systems:Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Landed in fish markets in Taiwan where presumably utilised for its meat.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Taiwan, the Paddlenose Spookfish is taken as bycatch when encountered, and is landed in fish markets (W. White, pers. comm., 2006). Landing of this species in Taiwan appears to be a more recent occurrence, suggesting that fishers are moving into deeper waters, probably as a result of the depletion of shallower water resources. As such, there is a potential threat to populations and habitats due to deepwater trawl fishery operations as well as increased attention toward new deepwater target species as more lucrative species are overfished.

The species is not known to be taken elsewhere, but likely forms a component of bycatch where deepwater trawling overlaps with its range. The area where the single Australian specimen was recorded (off North West Cape, Western Australia) is subject to only low levels of trawl effort (Chambers and Bath 2015a, 2015b).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are in place for this species. The accurate reporting of all captures will aid in understanding the species' distribution and population structure.

Citation: Dagit, D.D. 2016. Rhinochimaera africana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T60144A70709829. . Downloaded on 27 August 2016.
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