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Mustelus mento

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CARCHARHINIFORMES TRIAKIDAE

Scientific Name: Mustelus mento
Species Authority: Cope, 1877
Common Name(s):
English Speckled Smoothhound
Spanish Musola Fina, Tollo, Tollo Con Bandas
Taxonomic Notes: While Compagno (in prep.) notes that there are nominal records off Argentina, these are erroneous and are based on the closely related Mustelus schmitti. Menni et al. (1984) included this species in their list of Argentinean fish following Bigelow and Schroeder (1948), but noted that ?it is difficult that this species from the Pacific Ocean could be found in Argentina, where the common white-spotted form is M. schmitti'. Bigelow and Schroeder (1948) refer to the species Mustelus asterias from Lahille (1921) as M. mento but without examining any material. The confusion partly arises from colour pattern of small white spots which M. mento and M. schmitti share (G. Chiaramonte pers. comm).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Romero, M., Leandro, L. & Lamilla, J
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D., Francis, M. & Acuña, E. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Mustelus mento occurs in Peru, Chile, Galapagos Islands and Juan Fernandez Islands. Species abundance increases southwards, so populations are greatest in southern Chile. The species is fished by artisanal gill net fisheries in Chile and to a lesser extent in Peru. Some catch is also taken by bottom trawling, especially in Peru. Species-specific landings data are not available, but most catches of "tollo" in Chile are probably this species. Chilean "tollo" landings have varied significantly, including a sharp increase in the late 1980s followed by a large decline to the present (ca. 85% in 14 years). However, much of this variation is thought to result from variations in fishing effort, including a change by the artisanal gillnet fishery to targeting rays in recent years and maybe a change by the artisanal hake longline fishery in the late 1980s. The species occurs in shallow inshore waters where it is vulnerable to gill netting and trawling (although trawling is banned in bays and within the first nautical mile from the coast in Chile), which continues at a moderate level throughout its range. The population is likely to have been reduced but the extent of this is unknown. This species is assessed as Near Threatened on the basis the basis of a suspected past decline as a result of intense fishing pressure. This species could move into a higher threat category (Vulnerable) if fishing effort increases again in the Chilean artisanal gillnet fishery.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Mustelus mento is found in the Southeast Pacific from the Isla Lobos de Tierra (Peru) south to the austral tip of Chile, and the Galapagos and Juan Fernández Islands (Chirichigno and Cornejo 2001, Compagno in prep).
Countries:
Native:
Chile (Aisén, Antofagasta, Atacama, Biobío, Coquimbo, Desventurados Is., Juan Fernández Is., La Araucania, Los Lagos, Magellanes, Maule, O'Higgins, Santiago, Tarapacá, Valparaíso); Ecuador (Galápagos); Peru
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Unknown.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This temperate demersal shark is found on the continental and insular shelves at depths of 16 to 50 m. Ovoviviparous, with seven young per litter (Compagno in prep). In Talcahuano (Chile) number of young is also seven per litter (J. Lamilla unpub. data).

Maximum recorded size 130 cm TL. Males maturing at 65 to 76 cm TL, females maturing at 86 to 90 cm TL. Size at birth about 30 cm TL (Compagno et al. 2005).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Peru, this species is grouped with M. whitneyi and probably also with Triakis maculata under the name of "tollo". However, the abundance of M. mento increases towards the south and Peruvian catches of this species are probably small.

In Chile, highest catches of tollo are taken in the south (Region X) mainly by artisanal gill net fisheries (Lamilla et al. 2005a, 2005b; J. Lamilla unpub. data). Chilean catch statistics for tollo, reported to FAO as "smoothhound nei", are probably mainly M. mento, but may include smaller amounts of M. whitneyi and even Triakis maculata in the north. Tollo landings in Chile peaked at about 1,300 t in 1989 and have since declined steadily to 200 t or less since 1995. Effort in the tollo gillnet fishery may have increased during the late 1980s because of transfer of effort from the hake fishery, and declined during the early 1990s as effort shifted to the ray fishery (E. Acuña pers. comm. 2006). Therefore fluctuations in tollo landings are largely explained by variation in fishing effort, and landings do not provide a good index of population size.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A Peruvian legal regulation was put into force in 2001, establishing minimum catch sizes of 60 cm TL for Mustelus whitneyi, Mustelus mento and Triakis maculata. These species are the main commercial sharks caught off Peru. Improved awareness and education regarding these regulations is lacking and are a priority, as is adequate enforcement.

Citation: Romero, M., Leandro, L. & Lamilla, J 2007. Mustelus mento. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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