|Scientific Name:||Acroteriobatus salalah (Randall & Compagno, 1995)|
Rhinobatos salalah Randall & Compagno, 1995
|Taxonomic Source(s):||Randall, J.E. and Compagno, L.J.V. 1995. A review of the guitarfishes of the genus Rhinobatos (Rajiformes: Rhinobatidae) from Oman, withe description of a new species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 43(2):289–298.|
|Taxonomic Notes:||Last et al. (2016) revised the genus Rhinobatos, elevating the former subgenus Acroteriobatus to generic status.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Near Threatened ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Simpfendorfer, C., Jabado, R., Moore, A., Elhassan, I. & Valinassab, T.|
|Reviewer(s):||Pollom, R. & Kyne, P.M.|
|Facilitator/Compiler(s):||Jabado, R., Kyne, P.M.|
The Salalah Guitarfish (Acroteriobatus salalah) is reportedly uncommon off Oman and Pakistan. Guitarfish are commonly caught in gillnet, trawl and line fisheries throughout the region, but specific threats to this species are poorly known due to the lack of information on distribution and fisheries data. Declines of several species of inshore guitarfish have been documented within the region and present levels of catches are of concern. Limited available information for this species makes assessment difficult, but it is suspected to have declined by <30% across its range given the regular capture in Pakistan where fishing is intense. Furthermore, ongoing fishing is suspected to result in a future decline over the next three generation periods (2017-2032). The species is therefore assessed as Near Threatened (nearly meeting VU A2d+3d). Further investigation of this species is required to accurately define its range, biology, extent of catches in local fisheries and levels of declines. This assessment should be revisited as soon as this is available.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
|Range Description:||The Salalah Guitarfish is endemic to the Arabian Seas region. Records are generally scarce with less than 30 individuals having been confirmed from Salalah to Seeb in Oman, but there are now reports of one or two individuals being caught daily on the coast of Pakistan (Randall and Compagno 1995, Bearez et al. 2008, Henderson and Reeve 2011, M. Khan pers. comm. 08/02/2017). While the full extent of its distribution remains unknown, it is likely endemic to the Arabian Sea and Sea of Oman.|
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:|
Indian Ocean – western
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This species has been caught in demersal trawls and longlines at depths ranging from 10 to over 100 m (Henderson and Reeve 2011) and yet the limited number of specimens recorded after intensive landing site surveys in Oman could indicate that it is generally uncommon or that it occurs offshore at depths (>100 m) where artisanal fishermen do not operate. Small numbers of this species are reportedly landed regularly on the Pakistan coast.|
To date there have been no dedicated surveys or population estimates for this species. Further research is needed in order to determine population size and trends in abundance. However, significant declines in wedgefish and guitarfish (including rhinobatids) landings have been documented in other parts of the region. For example, landings surveys in the UAE in recent years have demonstrated a rapid decline despite ongoing fishing effort of the Halavi Guitarfish (Glaucostegus halavi); 10-20 individuals were regularly observed during 2010-2012, while landings of 1-2 individuals were more common five years later (R.W. Jabado unpubl. data). Furthermore, data available from Maharashtra, India, although outside the area of occurrence of this species, further demonstrate the declines in inshore batoid landings in an area where there are also high trawler numbers (5,613 trawlers in that state; CMFRI 2010). There, the annual average catch of rays landed by trawlers at New Ferry Wharf, Mumbai, between 1990-2004 was 502 t. During this period trawler hours doubled, and consequently, the catch rate declined by 60% from 0.65 kg/hr in 1990 to 0.24 kg/hr in 2004 (Raje and Zacharia 2009). Overall, the Salalah Guitarfish is suspected to have declined by <30% across its range, with ongoing fishing suspected to result in a future decline over the next three generation periods (2017-2032).
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:||The Salalah Guitarfish is known from depths of 10 to over 100 m. Presumably the species occurs over soft substrates. Males mature at about 62 cm total length (TL) and reach a maximum of at least 78 cm TL (Last et al. 2016). Generation length is inferred to be 5 years from the Lesser Guitarfish (Acroteriobatus annulatus) from southern Africa (Compagno et al. 1989).|
|Use and Trade:||Given that this species is reportedly uncommon, there is no information on use and trade beyond the fact that it is known from fishery landings. However, similar to other species of guitarfish in the region, its fins and meat likely enter the international trade.|
|Major Threat(s):||Threats to this species are unknown because of the lack of information on distribution and fisheries data. However, coastal rhinobatids are susceptible to capture in a variety of fishing gear including trawl, gillnet, line and seine net and their occurrence along inshore areas of the continental shelf means that rhinobatids are commonly captured. In Pakistan waters, about 2,000 trawlers operate in shelf waters, targeting shrimp in shallow waters and fish in outer shelf waters (M. Khan pers. comm. 06/02/2017).|
Pakistan is the only country across the range of this species with regulations specifically protecting all guitarfishes, wedgefishes and the Bowmouth Guitarfish. Oman has banned trawling in its waters since 2011 which might benefit this species. However, incidental catches frequently occur in other fisheries (e.g., gillnetting). Finning has also been banned in Oman, yet trade surveys indicate that some trade in the fins and meat of this species still occurs.
Research is needed to determine distribution, population size and trends in abundance to further assess status and any future conservation needs. Effective monitoring of fisheries is required, as is the effective implementation and management of marine protected areas. An education program on sustainable fishing and bycatch mitigation is needed for fishers.
|Citation:||Simpfendorfer, C., Jabado, R., Moore, A., Elhassan, I. & Valinassab, T. 2017. Acroteriobatus salalah. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T60172A109899000.Downloaded on 14 December 2017.|