Galeus polli 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Galeus polli Cadenat, 1959
Common Name(s):
English African Sawtail Catshark

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Fowler, S.L.
Reviewer(s): Human, B., Cavanagh, R.D. & Ebert, D.A. (Shark Red List Authority)
A small deepwater catshark of the outer shelf and slope at 160 to 720 m. Part of its range lies within heavily fished areas, but also extends into much deeper water where there is no significant exploitation pressure. In addition, the small size of this shark makes it less susceptible to trawl capture. The deepwater fisheries off the Namibian coast, where it appears to be most abundant, are well managed and recorded, which will enable possible future changes in abundance to be monitored. Abundance needs to be assessed quantitatively along its entire range (from Northern Cape Province, South Africa, northwards to Morocco). Currently Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Eastern Central and Southeast Atlantic: Southern Morocco to Northern Cape province, South Africa. Records become sparser near the border of Namibia with South Africa. There are records based on voucher specimens collected off the Northern Cape province of South Africa (down to just north of the Western/Northern Cape border) (L.J.V. Compagno, pers. comm. 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Benin; Cameroon; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mauritania; Morocco; Namibia; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa (Northern Cape Province); Togo
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – eastern central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Common to very abundant off central Namibia, but drops out north of the Orange River (Compagno et al. 1991). Abundance needs to be assessed quantitatively along its entire range.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs on the outer continental shelf and upper continental slope at 160 to 720 m. Quite common at about 300 to 400 m deep and in Namibian waters most common at 258 to 490 m.

A small deepwater bottom shark that occurs in both temperate and tropical waters. Aplacental viviparity, these catsharks bear live young. Feeds mainly on small teleosts.

Known life history parameters: Size at maturity: approx. 30 cm total length (TL) (both males and females). Maximum size: maximum recorded 43 cm TL. Size at birth: approx. 12 to 18 cm TL. Average annual fecundity or litter size: 6 to 12.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Bycatch of demersal trawl fisheries. The deepwater fisheries off the Namibian coast are well managed and recorded.

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
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Compagno, L.J.V., Ebert, D.A. and Cowley, P.D. 1991. Distribution of offshore demersal cartilaginous fishes (Class Chondrichthyes) of the west coast of southern Africa, with notes on their systematics. South African Journal of Marine Science 11:43-139.

Compagno, L.J.V. In prep. b. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the shark species known to date. Volume 3. (Carcharhiniformes). FAO Species Catalogue for Fisheries Purposes No. 1, Vol.3. FAO, Rome.

Ebert, D.A., Cowley, P.D. and Compagno, L.J.V. 1996. A preliminary investigation of the feeding ecology of catsharks (Scyliorhinidae) off the west coast of southern Africa. South African Journal of Marine Science 17:233-240.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2004).

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

Citation: Fowler, S.L. 2004. Galeus polli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T44649A10931893. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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