Rhinochimaera atlantica 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Chimaeriformes Rhinochimaeridae

Scientific Name: Rhinochimaera atlantica Holt & Byrne, 1909
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Straightnose Rabbitfish, Broadnose Chimaera, Knifenose Chimaera, Spearnose Chimaera
French Chimère Nez Lance
Spanish Narigón Sierra
Taxonomic Notes: The distinction between R. atlantica and R. pacifica is problematic and based soley on the number of caudal tubercles, a highly variable and often overlapping characteristic (tends to be greater in R. atlantica). Resolution on the distinction of these two species will require examination of a larger series of specimens and potentially molecular data (Compagno et al. 1990).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Dagit, D.D. & Compagno, L.J.V.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
This deepwater species appears to be widespread throughout the Atlantic at depths of ~500 to 1,500 m and may be more widespread in deeper waters than is presently known. Nothing is known with regard to behavior, feeding and reproduction, and no information is available on population structure. Not known to be commercially exploited, and although it is not currently reported as bycatch, this species is known to occasionally occur in deepwater research trawls and almost certainly occurs as bycatch in some deepwater fishing activities. At present it is likely the species is most abundant beyond the range of most deepwater commercial fisheries. Given its wide distribution and depth range, the species is assessed as Least Concern, although it could be potentially threatened in the future by expanding deepwater demersal fisheries. Collection of data on size, sex and depth is recommended to improve understanding of population size and structure and life history. Furthermore, the monitoring of bycatch should be undertaken.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Based on capture records this species appears to be widespread in deep waters throughout the Atlantic Ocean. Almost all specimens known are adults or subadult juveniles, rarely if ever are small juveniles captured. This may be due to fishing methods or more likely the aggregation of adults and juveniles in separate habitats and/or depths.
Countries occurrence:
Canada; Colombia; France; Gambia; Iceland; Mauritania; Mexico; Namibia; Senegal; South Africa; Suriname; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – eastern central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs on deep slopes, probably widely distributed throughout the Atlantic at recorded depths of ~500 to 1,500 m. This species may be more abundant in even deeper waters.

Oviparous, a few egg capsules and at least one hatchling have been collected; however nothing is known of reproduction in this species. It is likely this species occurs on muddy or rubble/rock bottoms and eats a variety of benthic invertebrates and fish.

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (total length cm): Unknown.
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length): 130 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.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No data exists at the present time with regard to possible bycatch of this species, although known to be occasionally caught in deepwater research trawls. In South Africa this species may occur in the deepwater hake trawl fishery but is primarily known from research trawl catches. It is likely the species mostly occurs beyond the maximum depth range of the fishery. Potentially threatened by the extension of deepwater demersal trawl fisheries into the habitat of this species. As fishing pressure increases in deepwater environments, bycatch of this species may increase as well as the possible destruction of habitat due to trawling methods.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No management or conservation measures are in place. Increased data collection from any and all captures is recommended in order to obtain additional information on population size and structure and life history.

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 R. atlantica.

Citation: Dagit, D.D. & Compagno, L.J.V. 2006. Rhinochimaera atlantica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2006: e.T60145A12312921. . Downloaded on 22 April 2018.
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