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Rhinobatos hynnicephalus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES RHINOBATIDAE

Scientific Name: Rhinobatos hynnicephalus
Species Authority: Richardson, 1846
Common Name(s):
English Ringstraked Guitarfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Compagno, L.J.V., Ishihara, H. & Marshall, A.D.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Heupel, M.R. & Simpfendorfer, C.A. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
A small (to 62.2 cm total length) inshore guitarfish of the Northwest Pacific. The species' reproductive biology has been studied in China where litters of 2 to 9 pups are born after a gestation period of 12 months. This rhinobatid is susceptible to capture in a variety of fishing gear including trawl, gillnet, line and seine net and its occurrence along inshore areas of the continental shelf makes these rays an easy target for such fisheries. Rhinobatos hynnicephalus is known to be taken by year-round commercial trawl and gillnet fisheries off Fujian, China and net and line fisheries operate over much of the coastal range of this species. The species is impacted by direct and indirect fishing pressure and landed where the flesh is utilised. Fishing pressure along the Chinese coast is only likely to increase and this species will continue to be impacted upon over much of its range. This is, however, a small species of rhinobatid (to 62.2 cm TL) and so may be slightly more resilient than larger, slower growing species. That said, it is still unlikely to withstand the present level of fishing pressure across its range and habitat, particularly given its biology and reliance on inshore environments. It is thus assessed as Near Threatened but may fall into a threatened category with further information on catches.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Tropical and warm temperate waters in the Northwest Pacific.
Countries:
Native:
China; Japan; Korea, Republic of; Taiwan, Province of China; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – northwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Unknown.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inshore over the continental shelf. Benthic. Aplacental viviparous. Reproductive biology was studied off Xiamen, Fujian Province, China by Wenbin and Shuyuan (1993). Parturition of 2 to 9 pups takes place in June/July after a gestation period of 12 months with ovulation occurring soon after parturition (Wenbin and Shuyuan 1993). Number of embryos was related to maternal size with larger females more fecund (Wenbin and Shuyuan 1993). Life history parameters taken from Wenbin and Shuyuan (1993).

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (total length): Female: 39 to 44 cm TL; Male: 38 to 40 cm TL.
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length): 62.2 cm TL.
Size at birth: 16 cm TL.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time: 12 months .
Reproductive periodicity: Annual.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: 2 to 9 pups/litter.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species' biology and inshore habitat make it highly susceptible to population depletion. This rhinobatid is susceptible to capture in a variety of fishing gear including trawl, gillnet, line and seine net and its occurrence along inshore areas of the continental shelf makes these rays an easy target for such fisheries. Rhinobatos hynnicephalus is known to be taken by year-round commercial trawl and gillnet fisheries off Fujian, China and net and line fisheries operate over much of the coastal range of this species. The species is impacted by direct and indirect fishing pressure and landed where the flesh is utilised. Pressure along the Chinese coast is only likely to increase and this species will continue to be impacted upon. This is, however, a small species of rhinobatid (to 62.2 cm TL) and so may be slightly more resilient than larger, slower growing species. That said, it is still unlikely to withstand the present level of fishing pressure across its range and habitat.

Habitat requirements are not well understood, but inshore areas are important as nursery areas for Rhinobatos species and these are being impacted upon by fishing activities and environmental degradation/pollution.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There is a need to acquire accurate catch data from fisheries throughout the species? distribution. Better understanding of habitat requirements and critical area/habitats is required to establish best amelioration processes.

Future management will need to consider harvest and trade management with a focus on resource stewardship and livelihood alternatives.

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 management of all elasmobranch species. See Anon. (2004) for an update of progress made towards development and implementation of National Plans of Action for countries across the range of R. hynnicephalus.

Citation: Compagno, L.J.V., Ishihara, H. & Marshall, A.D. 2006. Rhinobatos hynnicephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 September 2014.
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