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Apristurus japonicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CARCHARHINIFORMES SCYLIORHINIDAE

Scientific Name: Apristurus japonicus
Species Authority: Nakaya, 1975
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Catshark

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Nakaya, K. & McCormack, C.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V., Stevens, J., Fowler, S.L. & SSG Asia Northwest Pacific Red List Workshop participants (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
The Japanese Catshark (Apristurus japonicus) is distributed from Fukushima to Chiba Prefecture on the Pacific coast of northern Japan, at depths of 600–800 m. The species has a limited range and very little is known of its biology. The Japanese Catshark is taken as bycatch by bottom trawl and gillnet fisheries but no data are available on catches or population trends. It cannot be assessed beyond Data Deficient due to a lack of information; however its limited range and potentially vulnerable life-history characteristics are of concern. It is possible that declines have already occurred and this species may qualify for a threatened category in the future. Bycatch levels should be quantified and this assessment should be revisited in the near term.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The holotype was recorded from Choshi, Japan (Nakaya 1975). The species is distributed from Fukushima to Chiba Prefecture, northern Japan (Nakaya unpub. data). Records south of this (from southern Japan and southern Japanese Islands) are now considered incorrect and have resulted from misidentification with other species (Nakaya unpublished data).
Countries:
Native:
Japan (Honshu)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – northwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Apparently rare. No information is available on population size or abundance.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Japanese Catshark is reported from depths of 600 to 800 m. Males begin to mature at 51 cm TL and females begin to mature at 55 cm TL. All males are mature at 62 cm TL and all females at 57 cm TL. Reproduction is single oviparous species, with one egg case peroviduct (Nakaya 1975 unpublished data).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is taken as bycatch in bottom trawl and gillnet fisheries operating within its range, but no data are available on catch levels or population trends. Given the species’ limited range and potential biological vulnerability, any bycatch may be of concern.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No management or conservation efforts are currently in place. Like many deeper water species more information on biology, ecology and importance in fisheries are required to further assess status and any future conservation needs. Where taken, catches require monitoring, particularly as deepwater fisheries expand worldwide.

The development and implementation of management plans (national and/or regional e.g., under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA-Sharks) are required to facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region.

Citation: Nakaya, K. & McCormack, C. 2009. Apristurus japonicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 December 2014.
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