Chiloscyllium punctatum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Orectolobiformes Hemiscylliidae

Scientific Name: Chiloscyllium punctatum Müller & Henle, 1838
Common Name(s):
English Grey Carpetshark, Brownbanded Bamboo Shark
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. and Van der Laan, R. (eds). 2016. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 2 May 2016. Available at: (Accessed: 2 May 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-31
Assessor(s): Dudgeon, C.L., Bennett, M.B. & Kyne, P.M.
Reviewer(s): Lawson, J. & Dulvy, N.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M., Walls, R.H.L., Simpfendorfer, C. & Chin, A.
The Grey Carpetshark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) is a widely distributed (Indo-West Pacific region) and potentially fecund (oviparous) tropical species occurring in a variety of habitats throughout its range.

This species is fished and retained throughout Southeast Asia. In particular, it is one of the most common species found in fish markets across Thailand, where overall catch landings of sharks have declined by >90% from 10,000 tons to 1,000 tons in less than a decade (2004–2011). It is susceptible to capture in a range of fishing gear, and given its coastal preference, the distribution for this species largely overlaps with artisanal and commercial fisheries in many countries. Within Australia, the species is afforded protection through marine park zones throughout several parts of its distribution; it is not targeted for any fishery and as bycatch it is largely released with likely high survival rates given its general hardiness. There may be some level of take for the aquarium trade.

There is some taxonomic uncertainty for this species with evidence suggesting that the Australian form may be a cryptic sister-species to the Southeast Asian form. This taxonomic uncertainty has implications for the conservation of this species as this may limit the replenishment of exploited populations if they do not receive recruitment from largely unexploited populations. Based on the ongoing threats to this species from fishing pressure, habitat destruction and suspected population declines based on declines in aggregate Thai shark landings, the Grey Carpetshark is assessed globally as Near Threatened. In Southeast Asia where the fishing pressure is greatest and increasing, it may meet Vulnerable in the near future as it is likely to be close to meeting the thresholds for criterion A2bd. A key priority is to clarify population reduction and population substructure.

In Australia, where mortality from fisheries is limited, and the species is common in some marine protected areas, the species is assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Grey Carpetshark is widely distributed within the Indo-West Pacific in tropical and warm-temperate waters occurring in a variety of habitats throughout its range. It is known from India, Southeast Asia, Japan, southern New Guinea and northern Australia (Last and Stevens 2009, Akhilesh et al. 2014). It is uncertain whether the Grey Carpetshark occurs in the Western Indian Ocean where it has been reported as bycatch from fish markets from the Persian Gulf (Paighambari and Daliri 2012). There is taxonomic uncertainty for this species with evidence suggesting that the Australian form may be a cryptic sister-species to the Southeast Asian form (Naylor et al. 2012).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia); Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Singapore; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):85
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Little is known of Grey Carpetshark population structure or trends in the wild. It has been reported in large numbers at fish markets in Thailand (Compagno 2001, Krajangdara 2014), although is less frequently observed by SCUBA divers as reported from Thailand (1% sighting rate based on >4,400 dives; Thailand eShark Project 2015) and Indonesia (Erdmann, pers. comm. 2015).

In Australia, it is commonly encountered at various locations, such as reef flats in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef and in Moreton Bay, Queensland. It can been seen in groups of up to a dozen individuals at specific locations that provide protection/cover in otherwise open environments.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Grey Carpetshark is found in a variety of habitats including nearshore intertidal and subtidal habitats, over sandy and muddy substrates, seagrass beds and rocky and coral reef habitat to depths of 85 m (White and Potter 2004, Last and Stevens 2009, Chin et al. 2012). The species is extremely hardy and physiologically adapted to inhabiting environments that undergo cyclical hypoxic conditions (e.g., coral reef flats; Chapman and Renshaw 2011). Small individuals hide in crevices and among coral and are well camouflaged with their broad banding pattern.

The Grey Carpetshark is an oviparous species. Sperm storage occurs with one captive female shark storing sperm for 45 months before producing offspring (Bernal et al. 2015). Captive aquaria females lay large numbers of eggs with 466 eggs laid during one year for 3 females (Phuket, Thailand; Yano et al. 2005) and 692 eggs laid in one year between six females (Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia; Harahush et al. 2007). The number of eggs per year varies markedly demonstrating potential variation in fecundity due to external conditions with only 21.4% of eggs producing hatchlings (Harahush et al. 2007). The Grey Carpetshark has demonstrated a clear seasonal mating and egg laying period in captivity in Queensland, Australia (Harahush et al. 2007). Incubation periods differed between aquaria with hatching occurring after 92 days (Phuket, Thailand; Yano et al. 2005) and 153 days (Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia; Harahush et al. 2007). The differences may be due to higher ambient water temperatures in the Thai aquaria or may also reflect population level differences (Dharmadi et al. 2015).

Eggs hatch between 13 and 18 cm total length (TL; Last and Stevens 2009). Compagno (2001) reports size at maturity for males at 68 to 76 cm TL, and females at about 63 cm TL. Similar male sizes at maturity were reported from Malaysia (68-76 cm TL; Yano et al. 2005) and Indonesia (65–66 cm TL; Dharmadi et al. 2015). Last and Stevens (2009) report male size of maturity at 82 cm TL for Grey Carpetshark from Australia. This shark attains a maximum adult size of at least 132 cm TL (Last and Stevens 2009). Species-specific age and growth information is not available for the Grey Carpetshark. A congeneric, the Whitespotted Bambooshark (C. plagiosum), demonstrates an age at maturity of 4.5 years and maximum known age in the wild of 12.5 years (but captive age of 25 years; Chen et al. 2007), resulting in a generation length of 8.55 years. Captive Grey Carpetshark are known to at least 16 years of age (Harahush et al. 2007), and using the age at maturity of Whitespotted Bambooshark, a generation length of 9.5 years is estimated for the Grey Carpetshark.
Generation Length (years):9.5

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is a commonly caught inshore species for meat and other products and is also displayed and bred in aquaria (Dharmadi et al. 2015).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Grey Carpetshark is widely fished across most of its range outside of northern Australia. It comprises one of the most commonly landed shark species at Thai fishing ports where capture is primarily through otter trawls and also pair trawls. Aggregate shark landings have decreased from ~10,000 tons in 2004 to ~1,000 tons in 2011 (Krajandara 2014). Assuming these declining landings are indicative of overfishing-induced declines and are indicative of population reduction of this species they represent a >90% population reduction within a three generation span (~28.5 years). Declines are likely to have also occurred elsewhere. This species was the most common of all the orectolobiform sharks (comprising 77.9%) landed in Indonesia during surveys from April 2001-March 2006. Landings were recorded from Jakarta, Bali and Lombok fish markets from trawl, handline, longline and gillnet fisheries (Dharmadi et al. 2015). Genetic analyses (DNA barcoding) of shark fins collected during market surveys conducted across Indonesia from mid 2012 to mid 2014 found the vast majority of landed species were pelagic sharks with common reef and carpet sharks extremely rare. Given the extensive shallow coastal habitat around Indonesia that would support the reef and carpet shark species, the authors conclude that this is a strong indication of the collapse of reef shark populations in Indonesia, most likely due to overfishing (Semibiring et al. 2015).

Extensive trawling in the Arafura Sea (Blaber et al. 2005) and in the Java Sea (Blaber et al. 2009) is likely to impact the Grey Carpetshark in these regions. Documented large declines in shark and ray catches associated with corresponding increases in fishing effort in the Java Sea (Blaber et al. 2009) is likely to have a large impact on the Grey Carpetshark in Indonesian waters and may be representative of fishing impacts across the region.

A prawn trawl fishery consisting of about nine vessels operates in the Gulf of Papua in southern Papua New Guinea and the Grey Carpetshark is caught in the Gulf of Papua in moderate numbers (W. White, pers. comm. 2015).

Within Australia, small numbers of the Grey Carpetshark are captured in the Pilbara Trawl (Western Australian Department of Fisheries 2010), the Queensland East Coast Inshore Finfish Fisheries (Harry et al. 2011), the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery (Kyne 2010), the Northern Prawn Fishery (Stobutzki et al. 2002) and most certainly other fisheries in northern Australia. Carpetsharks are generally discarded in Australian fisheries.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is protected in a significant proportion of its Australian range on the east coast of Australia in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Moreton Bay Marine Park. While fishing is still allowed in most areas of the parks, the species is not targeted and is likely to survive capture as bycatch due to its general hardiness.

Re-stocking of wild populations from captive bred aquaria stock (Phuket Marine Biological Centre) has occurred on one occasion in Phuket, Thailand which comprised the release of 99 captive bred sharks between 6-12 months old on 02 December 2004, marking the birthday of HM King Bhumibol Adulyedej (Phuket Gazette 2004).

The Gulf of Papua prawn trawl fishery is managed under national Papua New Guinean laws and regulations, and there are some seasonal closures in place; although bycatch reduction devices are not currently in place, there are plans to implement in the near future (L. Baje, National Fisheries Authority, pers. comm. 2015).

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.5. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy-Mud
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.6. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Muddy
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.9. Marine Neritic - Seagrass (Submerged)
suitability:Suitable season:resident 

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Unknown ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Akhilesh, K.V., Bineesh, K.K., Gopalakrishnan, A., Jena, J.K., Basheer, V.S. and Pillai, N.G.K. 2014. Checklist of Chondrichthyans in Indian waters. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India 56(1): 109-120.

Bernal, M.A., Sinai, M.L., Rocha, C., Gaither, M.R., Dunker, F. and Rocha, L.A. 2015. Long-term sperm storage in the brownbanded bambooshark Chiloscyllium punctatum. Journal of Fish Biology 86: 1171–1176.

Blaber, S., Dichmont, C.M., White, W.T., Buckworth, R.C., Sadiyah, L., Iskandar, B., Nurhakim, S., Pillans, R.D., Andamari, R., Dharmadi and Fahmi. 2009. Elasmobranchs in southern Indonesian fisheries: the fisheries, the status of the stocks and management options. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 19: 367–391.

Blaber, S.J.M., Dichmont, C.M., Buckworth, R.C., Badrudin, Sumiono, B., Nurhakim, S., Iskandar, B., Fegen, B., Ramm, D.C. and Salini, J.P. 2005. Shared stocks of snappers (Lutjanidae) in Australia and Indonesia: Integrating biology, population dynamics and socio-economics to examine management scenarios. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 15: 111-127.

Chapman, C.A and Renshaw, G.M.C. 2011. Hematological responses of the grey carpet shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) and the epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum) to anoxia and re‐oxygenation. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A Ecological Genetics and Physiology 311A(6): 422-438.

Chen, W.K., Chen, P.C., Lue, K.M. and Wang, S.B. 2007. Age and growth estimates of the whitespotted bamboo shark, Chiloscyllium plagiosum, in the northern waters of Taiwan. Zoological Studies 46: 92-102.

Chin, A., Tobin, A., Simpfendorfer, C. and Heupel, M. 2012. Reef sharks and inshore habitats: patterns of occurrence and implications for vulnerability.. Marine Ecology Progress Series 460: 115-125.

Compagno, L.J.V. 2001. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Vol. 2. Bullhead, mackeral and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO species catalogue for fisheries purposes. No. 1. Vol. 2. FAO, Rome.

Dharmadi, Fahmi and White, W.T. 2015. Species composition and aspects of the biology of Orectolobiformes from Indonesian waters. Journal of Fish Biology 86: 484–492.

Harahush, B.K., Fischer, A.B.P. and Collin, S.P. 2007. Captive breeding and embryonic development of Chiloscyllium punctatum Muller & Henle, 1838 (Elasmobranchii: Hemiscyllidae). Journal of Fish Biology 71: 1007–1022.

Harry, A.V., Tobin, A.J., Simpfendorfer, C.A., Welch, D.J., Mapleston, A., White, J., Williams, A.J., and Stapley, J. 2011. Evaluating catch and mitigating risk in a multispecies, tropical, inshore shark fishery within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Marine and Freshwater Research 62: 710-721.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Krajangdara, T. 2014. Sharks and Rays in Thailand - Country Report. Andaman Sea Fisheries Research and Development Centre, Department of Fisheries, Phuket, Thailand.

Kyne, P.M. 2010. Chondrichthyans and the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery: bycatch reduction, biology, conservation status and sustainability. School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland.

Last, P.R. and Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Second Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

Naylor, G.J., Caira, J.N., Jensen, K., Rosana, K.A.M., White, W.T. and Last, P.R. 2012. A DNA sequence-based approach to the identification of shark and ray species and its implications for global elasmobranch diversity and parasitology. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History: 1-262.

Paighambari, S.Y. and Daliri, M. 2012. The bycatch composition of shrimp trawl fisheries in Bushehr coastal waters, the northern Persian Gulf. Journal of the Persian Gulf 3(7): 27-36.

Semibiring, A., Pertiwi, N.P.D., Marhardini, A., Wulandari, R., Kurniasih, E.M., Kuncoro, A.W., Cahyani, N.K.D., Anggoro, A., Ulfa, M., Madduppa, H., Carpenter, K.E., Barber, P.H. and Mahardika, G.N. 2015. DNA barcoding reveals targeted fisheries for endangered sharks in Indonesia. Fisheries Research 164: 130-134.

Stobutzki, I.C., Miller, M.J., Heales, D.S. and Brewer, D.T. 2002. Sustainability of elasmobranches caught as bycatch in a tropical prawn (shrimp) trawl fishery. Fishery Bulletin 100: 800-821.

Thailand eShark Project. 2014. Thailand eShark Project. Available at: (Accessed: 30 March 2015).

Western Australia Department of Fisheries. 2010. The Bycatch Action Plan for the Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery. Fisheries Management Paper No. 244. Western Australian Department of Fisheries, Perth.

White, W.T and Potter, I.C. 2004. Habitat partitioning among four elasmobranch species in nearshore, shallow waters of a subtropical embayment in Western Australia. Marine Biology 145(5): 1023-1032.

Yano, K., Ahmad, A., Gambang, A.C., Idris, A.H., Solahuddin, A.R. and Aznan, Z. 2005. Sharks and Rays of Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Kuala Terengganu.

Citation: Dudgeon, C.L., Bennett, M.B. & Kyne, P.M. 2016. Chiloscyllium punctatum. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41872A68616745. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
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