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Dasyatis centroura

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES DASYATIDAE

Scientific Name: Dasyatis centroura
Species Authority: (Mitchill, 1815)
Common Name(s):
English Roughtail Stingray
Synonym(s):
Dasyatis hastata (DeKay, 1842)
Taxonomic Notes: The ?thorny tail stingray complex? needs additional study. The populations in the eastern Atlantic and Uruguay may represent different species (Struhsaker 1969, McEachran and Fechhelm 1998). The status of the single record from India is unknown.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Rosa, R.S., Furtado, M., Snelson, F., Piercy, A., Grubbs, R.D., Serena, F. & Mancusi, C.
Reviewer(s): Musick, J.A., Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Valenti, S.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
One of the largest marine and brackish water stingrays distributed widely throughout the Atlantic. Populations in the Northwest Atlantic, Southwest Atlantic and Eastern Atlantic are considered separate. Although limited data are available on the biology of this species, its huge size (maximum size 260 cm disc width) and low fecundity (two to six pups per litter) make it intrinsically vulnerable to depletion. In US waters of the Northwest Atlantic this species is not targeted and the available data on population trends suggests that populations off the east coast of the USA are stable. In the Southwest Atlantic and Mediterranean, it is taken in trawl and artisanal fisheries operating throughout much of its depth range. Skate and ray landings in the artisanal fishery in the Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil have declined significantly since the early 1950s and there is some anecdotal evidence that the abundance of this species in catches has declined off Rio Grande do Norte State, northeastern Brazil. It has only been rarely reported from the Mediterranean, where intense trawl fisheries operate at depths of 50 to 800 m. Given that its very large size makes it intrinsically vulnerable to population depletion, intense trawl fisheries in its range in the Mediterranean and the Southwest Atlantic and the declines observed in other vulnerable batoid species in these regions, the species is given a precautionary assessment of Near Threatened in the Mediterranean and Southwest Atlantic. As populations in the US Northwest Atlantic appear stable it is assessed as Least Concern in this region and Least Concern globally.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: East Atlantic: Southern Bay of Biscay to Angola, including the Mediterranean Sea, Madeira, and Canary Islands.

Northwest Atlantic: Georges Bank and Cape Cod south to Florida and in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico (USA), and in the Bahamas. The species is not recorded from Mexico (Castro-Aguirre and Perez 1996).

Southwest Atlantic: From Isla Blanca and Cubagua, Venezuela (Cervigón and Alcalá 1999), from Barra de Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro State (Buckup et al. 2000) and recently in Ceará State, Brazil, as well as locations off Uruguay and Argentina (Menni and Stehmann 2000).

A single report from the Indian Ocean (off Quilon, India) is most probably a misidentification (Silas and Selvaraj 1985).
Countries:
Native:
Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola); Argentina; Benin; Brazil; Cameroon; Congo; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; France; Gabon; Ghana; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Israel; Italy; Liberia; Libya; Malta; Mauritania; Montenegro; Morocco; Niger; Portugal (Madeira); Senegal; Sierra Leone; Spain (Baleares, Canary Is., Spanish North African Territories); Syrian Arab Republic; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; United States; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – western central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In the Mediterranean Sea, this species was reported as most common off Algeria, Sicily and Tunisia (Whitehead et al. 1984). In 6,336 scientific trawls conducted during the Mediterranean International Trawl Survey (MEDITS) from 1994 to 1999 at depths of 10 to 800 m, only one record of this species was reported throughout the entire Mediterranean (Baino et al. 2001). From the 22 Italian GRUND surveys between 1985 and 1998 the percentage presence for this species was one of the lowest registered (0.83%) and it was caught only in the South Ligurian Seas and Sardinian waters (Relini et al. 2000).

In the western north Atlantic, the species is common and widely distributed. It is taken in groundfish trawl surveys (Struhsaker 1969, J. Musick pers. comm., R. Myers pers. comm). VIMS longline survey data show no population trends in CPUE between 1996 and 2003 (Musick unpublished data). NMFS groundfish trawl survey data show no population trends (stable populations) since 1963 in the mid-Atlantic Bight (R. Myers pers. comm). It is less common in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and becomes increasingly rare in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Little information is available on the population in the Southwest Atlantic.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found over sandy and muddy bottoms, occasionally in brackish water; usually in waters less then 100 m deep, but recorded to 274 m in the Bahamas (McEachran and Fechhem 1998) and usually to 200 m deep in the Mediterranean (Notarbartolo and Bianchi 1998, Whitehead et al. 1984).

One of the largest known stingrays, the largest maximum size thus far reported for the species range-wide is 260 cm DW and 290 kg from the southern Adriatic (Dulcic et al. 2003). Maximum size is also reported at 210 to 220 cm disc width (McEachran and de Carvalho 2002, Capapé and Desoutter 1990). Size at maturity varies with region, McEachran and de Carvalho (2002) reported size at maturity in males at 130 to 150 cm disc width, and 140 to 160 cm disc width for females, and Capapé (1993) reported 80 cm disc width for males and 66 to 100 cm for females in the Mediterranean.

This species is ovoviviparous. Size at birth is reported as 34 to 37 cm (McEachran and de Carvalho 2002) and 8 to 13 cm (Notarbartolo and Bianchi 1998, Bini 1967). Capapé (1993) reported that gestation lasts for a minimum of four months and fecundity ranges from 2 to 6 pups per litter.

The diet consists of fishes and invertebrates, including crabs, bivalves, gastropods, cephalopods (Bigelow and Schroeder 1953). Off Virginia (USA), stomachs from three adult males contained large numbers of a single prey species, the callianassid shrimp Upogebia affinis (Grubbs unpublished data).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Southwest Atlantic
This stingray is taken by demersal trawl, gillnets, longlines, and hook and line (Stehmann 1981). Fishing pressure is intense throughout the range of this coastal ray and it is considered Vulnerable in Rio de Janeiro Municipality (Buckup et al. 2000). Brazil has reported among the highest capture production of elasmobranchs to FAO in recent years (Bonfil et al. 2005). Coastal species are the most important commercial elasmobranchs in the Southwest Atlantic and fishing pressure is intense throughout much of the relatively shallow habitat of this species (Bonfil et al. 2005). Skate and ray landings in the artisanal fishery in the Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil have declined significantly since the early 1950s (Klippel et al. 2005). One female specimen was recorded in a year's sampling of the landings of artisanal fleet at Caicara do Norte in northeastern Brazil (Yokota and Lessa 2006). Like many elasmobranch species, anecdotal evidence from interviews with fishermen (from Caiçara do Norte, Rio grande do Norte State, northeastern Brazil) indicate that the D. centroura is more rarely caught now than previously (L. Yokota pers. comm. 2006).

Coastal trawling effort is also intense in Argentina, where batoids are an important resource in most demersal trawl fisheries (Tamini et al. 2006). A coastal multispecies demersal trawl fishery operates at Quequén (38°37S, 58°50) down to about 60 m depth, in which bycatch of batoids fluctuates seasonally between 44.5% and 67.5% of total capture (Tamini et al. 2006). The species is apparently only rarely captured in Uruguay (A. Domingo pers. comm).

Fishery industries tend to show an interest in large dasyatids as a source of minced fish products, implying that exploitation pressure and population depletion may increase in the future.

Northwest Atlantic
This species is not targeted in US waters of the Northwest Atlantic and the available data on population trends suggest stable populations off the east coast of the USA. Although there is some bycatch in shrimp and groundfish trawl and bottom longline fisheries (G. Burgess pers. comm.), the impact is considered to be minimal.

Mediterranean
In the Mediterranean this stingray is taken as bycatch of the artisanal fisheries, bottom set longline, gillnet and handline (Fischer et al. 1987). Benthic trawl effort has increased both effort and efficiency in the shelf and slope areas of the Mediterranean Sea over the last 50 years. The continental shelf and upper slope of the Mediterranean Sea are highly exploited, with intensive commercial trawling occurring at depths ranging from 50 to 700-800 m (Colloca et al. 2003, Massuti and Moranta 2003). As a result there has been increasing concern about changes in the abundance and diversity of elasmobranchs in this region, and decreases in the abundance and biomass of some species throughout the last decade have been reported in highly exploited areas such as the Gulf of Lions (Aldebert 1997, Massuti and Moranta 2003). Although no species specific data are available, the very large size of D. centroura makes it intrinsically vulnerable to population depletion. Given that this species is rarely captured in the Mediterranean, high exploitation of the continental shelf, its intrinsic vulnerability and evidence for declines where data are available in other elasmobranch species within this region, it is suspected to have declined.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Given fishing pressure on inshore environments in the Southwest Atlantic, monitoring needs to document catches of this species, and appropriate management should be implemented if indeed the species has declined from historical levels.

Citation: Rosa, R.S., Furtado, M., Snelson, F., Piercy, A., Grubbs, R.D., Serena, F. & Mancusi, C. 2007. Dasyatis centroura. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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