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Dasyatis akajei

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES DASYATIDAE

Scientific Name: Dasyatis akajei
Species Authority: (Müller & Henle, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Red Stingray
Taxonomic Notes: Further taxonomic research required in order to determine relationship of nominal Western Central Pacific (including the Philippines; Compagno et al. 2005) forms to the Northwest Pacific D. akajei (P.R. Last and L.J.V. Compagno, pers. com.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Huveneers, C. & Ishihara, H.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
A probably Northwest Pacific endemic known from Japan, Taiwan and China (other forms from the Western Central Pacific need to be critically compared). Dasyatis akajei plays an important role as an apex predator in the demersal food network of coastal regions across its range. However, very little is known of its life-history traits. The species is subject to high fishing effort and caught in commercial quantities in the coastal waters of Japan and even in brackish waters. It is taken as bycatch in the bottom trawl fishery, gillnet, set net and hook and line fishery targeting demersal bottom fishes such as flounders. This bycatch is utilized and landings are reported to be declining. Fecundity is very low with one pup per litter reported. Due to the current high level of bycatch and strong fishing pressure in its area of occurrence, which will have depleted the population, this species should be classified as Near Threatened. Data need to be collected in order to accurately assess the population status, which may show that the species falls into a higher threat category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Probable Northwest Pacific endemic. In Japan, commonly distributed in shallow coastal waters and bays from Hokkaido to Okinawa (Taniuchi and Shimizu 1993).
Countries:
Native:
China; Japan; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Present - origin uncertain:
Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Declines have reported to have occurred where the species is fished.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Dasyatis akajei plays an important role as an apex predator in the demersal food network of coastal areas (Taniuchi and Shimizu 1993). However, very little is known of its life-history traits. It is found in coastal areas and on the continental shelf.

Males attain maturity at ~35 cm DW and almost all the males become mature at >40 cm DW. Females attain first maturity between 50 and 55 cm DW and most females >60 cm DW may be mature (Taniuchi and Shimizu 1993).

D. akajei feeds predominantly on crustaceans and osteichthyes. Annelida was also reported in their stomachs whilst Bivalvia and Cephalopoda were seldom found (Taniuchi and Shimizu 1993).

Dasyatidae are mostly demersal in inshore waters, although several species range offshore and a few large species occur along the upper continental slopes as deep as 480 m. Several species are euryhaline while some others are confined to freshwater. All are aplacental viviparous. Litter varies between two to six young with gestation periods, which may take as long as 12 months (Last and Compagno 1999). Dasyatis akajei appears to have a lower fecundity with gravid females bearing one pup/litter (H. Ishihara, unpublished data).

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (disc width): 50-55 cm DW (Taniuchi and Shimizu 1993) (female); 35-40 cm DW (Taniuchi and Shimizu 1993) (male).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (disc width): At least 66 cm DW (Last and Compagno 1999).
Size at birth (cm): Unknown.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: 1 pup/litter (H. Ishihara, unpublished data).
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Dasyatis akajei is caught in commercial quantities in coastal and even brackish waters. It is taken as bycatch in the bottom trawl fishery, gillnet, set net and hook and line fishery targeting demersal bottom fishes such as flounders, and this bycatch is utilized. Landings are reported to be declining. Population is therefore strongly affected by present level of fishing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Data need to be collected in order to accurately assess the population status and to document catch levels.

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 D. akajei.

Citation: Huveneers, C. & Ishihara, H. 2006. Dasyatis akajei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 August 2014.
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