Echinorhinus brucus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Squaliformes Echinorhinidae

Scientific Name: Echinorhinus brucus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Bramble Shark, Spinous Shark, Spiny Shark
Echinorhinus mccoyi Whitley, 1931
Echinorhinus obesus Smith, 1838
Echinorhinus spinosus (Gmelin, 1789)
Squalus spinosus Gmelin, 1789
Squalus brucus Bonnaterre, 1788
Taxonomic Source(s): Weigmann, S. 2016. Annotated checklist of the living sharks, batoids and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of the world, with a focus on biogeographical diversity. Journal of Fish Biology 88(3): 837-1037.
Taxonomic Notes: Synonym = Echinorhinus (Rubusqualus) mccoyi Whitley, 1931.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Paul, L. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)
An apparently rare deepwater shark, recorded sporadically and usually singly at widely dispersed localities. It may be present at greater depths than are commercially fished, but this is only speculative. It reaches a large size and, although very little is known of its life history, it is likely to be a slow-growing, late-maturing species of low overall productivity. In the Northeast Atlantic there is published qualitative information on a decline in this species over recent decades. At present there is inadequate information to assess the conservation status of this species, however, since it is a known (albeit infrequent) component of fisheries bycatch with probable limiting life history characteristics and likely rare status, the species may well meet the criteria for a threatened category as more information becomes available.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Range almost worldwide.
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Argentina; Australia; Côte d'Ivoire; Cyprus; Egypt; France; Greece; India; Italy; Japan; Libya; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; New Zealand; Senegal; South Africa; Spain (Canary Is.); Tunisia; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Present - origin uncertain:
Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Mediterranean and Black Sea; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central; Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Rare. There is no information on the existence, or likely existence of local populations, or on population size in any locality.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Marine, living on or near the seafloor (as far as is known), on the upper and middle continental slope, mainly in 400 to 900 m (based on relatively few captures) but has also been taken in shallower water. Considered a sluggish shark, but may be capable of short rushes to capture prey (fishes, crustaceans).

Born 30 to 90 cm. Mature ~160 cm M, ~200 cm F. (these sizes are poorly known.) Maximum size ~310 cm. Ovoviviparous with 15 to 25 pups per litter, gestation period and reproductive cycle unknown.

Otherwise, almost nothing is known of the species' biology.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although rarely encountered, almost certainly an unreported bycatch in several deepwater trawl and line fisheries. Reportedly only used for fishmeal, but the liver oil has been used medicinally in at least South Africa. No population baseline or trends available, apart from a reported reduction in numbers in the north-east Atlantic (Quero and Emmonnet 1993, Quero and Cendrero 1996, Quero 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are currently no conservation measures in place for this species.

Classifications [top]

10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.1. Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

Bibliography [top]

Barcellos, L.P. and Pinedo, M.C. 1980. On the occurrence of Echinorhinus brucus (Bonnaterre, 1788) on the southern coast of Brazil (Squaliformes: Squalidae). Iheringia, Ser. Zool. 56: 71–74.

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Volume 4, Part 1.

Garrick, J.A.F. 1960. Studies on New Zealand Elasmobranchii. Part X. The genus Echinorhinus, with an account of a second species, E. cookei Pietschmann, 1928, from New Zealand waters. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88(1): 105–117.

IUCN. 2003. 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 November 2003.

IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at:

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

Musick, J.A. and McEachran, J.D. 1969. The squaloid shark Echinorhinus brucus off Virginia. Copeia 1969(1): 205–206.

Quero, J-C. 1998. Changes in the Euro-Atlantic fish species composition resulting from fishing and ocean warming. Italian Journal of Zoology 65(supplement): 493–499.

Quero, J-C. and Cendrero, O. 1996. Effect of fishing on the ichthyological biodiversity of the Bassin d'Arcachon and the surrounding continental shelf. Cybium 20(4): 323–356.

Quero, J.C. and Emonnet, R. 1993. Disparition ou raréfaction d'espèces marines au large d'Archachon. In: Actes du III Colloque International 'Océanographie du Golfe de Gascone'. pp. 221–225.

Silas, E.G. and Selvaraj, G.S.D. 1972. Descriptions of the adult and embryo of the bramble shark Echinorhinus brucus (Bonnaterre) obtained from the continental slope of India. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India 14(1): 395–401.

Stewart, A.L. 2001. Bramble sharks: prickly customers. Seafood New Zealand 9(3): 70–73.

Citation: Paul, L. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003). 2003. Echinorhinus brucus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T41801A10563978. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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