Isistius brasiliensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Isistius brasiliensis
Species Authority: (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
Common Name(s):
English Cookie-cutter Shark, Luminous Shark

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Stevens, J. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)
Reviewer(s): Cavanagh, R.D. & Francis, M.P. (Shark Red List Authority)
Isistius brasiliensis is widespread but with patchy distribution records. It is too small (up to about 50 cm total length (TL)) to be regularly taken by fisheries and although it is occasionally caught by pelagic longlines, and sometimes in midwater trawls and plankton nets there are no significant threats to this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Widespread oceanic in temperate and tropical regions. In Australia, from isolated localities off Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, New Zealand and various localities throughout the South Pacific (including Fiji and the Cook Islands). Makes diurnal vertical migrations from below 1,000 m in the day to near the surface at night.
Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia); Cook Islands; Fiji; New Zealand
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – western central; Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northeast; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Nothing is known about population size.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Oceanic waters. This species makes diurnal vertical migrations from below 1,000 m in the day, to near the surface at night. The cookie-cutter’s trademark bites are relatively common on large pelagic fish and cetaceans. Little is known of its biology.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Because of its small size it is only occasionally taken by fisheries.

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Bibliography [top]

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. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia.

Citation: Stevens, J. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Isistius brasiliensis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided