Triakis maculata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Triakidae

Scientific Name: Triakis maculata Kner & Steindachner, 1867
Common Name(s):
English Spotted Houndshark
French Virli Tacheté
Spanish Tollo Manchado
Triakis scyllium ssp. maculatus Kner & Steindachner, 1867

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Romero, M. & Leandro, L.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh., R.D., Francis, M. & Acuna, E. (Shark Red List Authority)
Triakis maculata is a temperate large-sized triakid shark endemic to the Southeast Pacific from Peru to northern Chile and the Galapagos Islands. It is probably uncommon and very little is known of its biology. It is taken in Peru and probably also Chile together with other houndsharks (Mustelus mento, M. whitneyi and T. maculata are referred to collectively as 'tollo'). Species-specific catch information is lacking. Tollo species have been heavily fished off Peru, and to a lesser extent in Chile. The Peruvian fishery has now shifted away from tollo due to declines of the main species (M. whitneyi) and at present few are captured. The species is now also subject to minimum size restrictions, however these are low compared with size at sexual maturity and awareness of these regulations is limited, as is enforcement.

T. maculata, is assessed as Vulnerable on the basis of suspected declines resulting from intensive fishing, and presumed ongoing fishing mortality. The relative productivities of T. maculata, M. whitneyi and M. mento are unknown, so it is not possible to infer population trends of T. maculata by reference to the other two species. However triakid sharks that have been studied to date are mainly moderately fast-growing and early-maturing.

The fishery shift away from tollo may allow recovery of the stocks, but extreme caution and stringent management must be applied in the future regarding any redevelopment of a tollo fishery. An Endangered classification may be warranted but the lack of information makes this difficult to determine. The recent regulations need to be improved and adequately enforced, and obtaining species-specific information is an urgent priority. Further research and improvements in monitoring are a priority in order to accurately assess the status of this species throughout its range, and to determine the appropriate conservation and management action.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Triakis maculata is found in the Southeast Pacific from Peru, northern Chile and the Galapagos Islands. Mexican records for this species are erroneous (Compagno in prep).
Countries occurrence:
Chile; Peru
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Possibly uncommon (Compagno in prep).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A temperate inshore species found on the continental shelf. Very little known of its biology but it is probably ovoviviparous (Compagno in prep).

Triakis maculata reaches a maximum size of 180 to 240 cm total length (TL), although a confirmed size at maturity is unknown (Compagno in prep). The size at birth for this species is 30 to 40 cm TL and one female was found to have a litter of 14 pups (Compagno in prep).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Taken in fisheries off Peru and possibly also off northern Chile. Species-specific catch information is lacking. Triakis maculata is taken in artisanal gill nets, and to a lesser extent in trawls, along with Mustelus whitneyi and M. mento. These three species are collectively known as "tollo", which in the geographic range of T. maculata (Peru and northern Chile), consists mainly of M. whitneyi. Tollo has been heavily fished off Peru for over 30 years, but Chilean fisheries have been less intensive. The Peruvian fishery has now shifted away from tollo due to declines of the main species (M. whitneyi) and at present few are captured. The three species are now also subject to minimum size restrictions, however these size limits are low compared with size at sexual maturity and awareness of these regulations is limited, as is enforcement. Populations trends are unknown for T. maculata, and its contribution to tollo landings is unknown; however this is probably the least common of the three species in this mix. Triakis maculata is large and desirable as food. Its naturally low abundance and ongoing fishing pressure, albeit at a lower level than previously, may be causing continuing declines in its abundance. This species should be closely monitored and given high research priority to determine the current status of its population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In order to guarantee chondrichthyan resources in the long term, a Peruvian legal regulation was put into force in 2001, establishing minimum catch sizes of 160 cm TL for Prionace glauca, 170 cm TL for Isurus oxyrinchus, 150 cm TL for Carcharhinus spp., and 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.

The lack of accurate species-specific information on this species not only in Peru, but elsewhere in its range reinforces the need for further research with a focus on Triakis maculata and other tollo species.

Citation: Romero, M. & Leandro, L. 2007. Triakis maculata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T63130A12620764. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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