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Paragaleus pectoralis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CARCHARHINIFORMES HEMIGALEIDAE

Scientific Name: Paragaleus pectoralis
Species Authority: (Garman, 1906)
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic Weasel Shark, Little Tiger Shark
French Milandre Jaune
Spanish Tiburón Comadiza
Synonym(s):
Hemigaleus pectoralis Garman, 1906
Paragaleus gruveli Budker, 1935
Taxonomic Notes: P. gruveli is considered a synonym of P. pectoralis, following Krefft (1968), Compagno (1979, 1984, 1988), and Cadenat and Blache (1982).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Bates, H.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Diop, M. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
The Atlantic Weasel Shark (Paragaleus pectoralis) is a poorly known shark occurring both inshore and offshore along continental shelves of the eastern Atlantic. Predominantly found in shallow waters around the Cape Verde Islands and from Mauritania down to Angola, it can be found from the surf zone to depths of about 100 m. Common within its area of occurrence, very little is known about the biology of this species. Atlantic Weasel Shark may exhibit slow growth rates and late maturity, and it attains a maximum size of 138 cm TL. The presumed life history characteristics of the species make it vulnerable to fishing pressure within its range, where the species is important to commercial fisheries. It is taken as utilised catch in both artisanal and small commercial fisheries in the eastern Atlantic and by offshore international fisheries, being caught by longlines, hook and line, gillnets and bottom trawls. At present, no specific information is available on catches of this species or population trends and it is not possible to assess Atlantic Weasel Shark beyond Data Deficient. Further information is required about the biology of this species and its interaction with fisheries.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Distributed throughout the East Atlantic around the Cape Verde Islands, and from Mauritania down to Angola (Compagno et al. 2005). Possibly occurs as far north as Morocco (Compagno et al. 2005) and as far south as Namibia (Bianchi et al. 1999, Carpenter 2008). One northwest Atlantic record from 1906 (Compagno et al. 2005). There are no further records from the tropical Atlantic, possible that the locality data from this specimen was erroneous (Compagno in prep.).
Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola, Angola, Cabinda); Benin; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea (Equatorial Guinea (mainland)); Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mauritania; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Common in the Eastern Atlantic.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Atlantic Weasel Shark is a demersal species inhabiting both inshore and offshore waters around the continental shelf in tropical to warm-temperate waters. The species occurs in shallow waters up to 100 m, and can be found quite close to land in the surf zone. Common within its area of occurrence, little is known about the biology of this species (Compagno in prep.).

This shark is viviparous, bearing 1-4 pups per litter (mostly two), each about 47 cm in length. Off Senegal most young are born between May to June. This species reaches a maximum size of 138 cm in length, with males maturing at about 80cm and females maturing between 75 and 90 cm (Compagno et al. 2005).

It is a specialist feeder, primarily feeding on cephalopods, including squid and octopi. Occasionally preys on small bony fishes such as soles and sardines to make up its diet (Compagno in prep.).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The meat is utilised fresh and dried-salted for human consumption and processed into fishmeal (Compagno In prep.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Important for commercial fisheries, this species is a common catch of artisanal and small commercial fisheries in the Eastern Atlantic, but also taken by offshore international fisheries. It is caught with a variety of fishing gear and retained for utilisation, including longlines, hook and line, gillnets and bottom trawls(Compagno in prep.). Inshore fishing pressure is generally intensive along the western coast of Africa, and fisheries have increased in both effort and capacity during recent decades (Walker et al. 2005). No specific data are currently available on catches of this species, however, and further investigation of the impact of fisheries on Paragaleus pectoralis is required.

The species may have life-history characteristics, such as slow growth that make it vulnerable to depletion.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are in place. Catch levels need to be quantified and monitored.

Citation: Bates, H. 2009. Paragaleus pectoralis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 November 2014.
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