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Tetrapturus angustirostris

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES ISTIOPHORIDAE

Scientific Name: Tetrapturus angustirostris
Species Authority: Tanaka, 1915
Common Name(s):
English Shortbill Spearfish
French Makaire à Rostre Court
Spanish Marlin Trompa Corta
Synonym(s):
Tetrapturus illingworthi Jordan & Evermann, 1926
Tetrapturus kraussi Jordan & Evermann, 1926

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Collette, B., Acero, A., Canales Ramirez, C., Carpenter, K.E., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Miyabe, N., Montano Cruz, R., Nelson, R., Schaefer, K., Serra, R., Sun, C., Uozumi, Y. & Yanez, E.
Reviewer(s): Russell, B., Polidoro, B. & Elfes, C.
Justification:
This species is widespread but is rare. It is caught primarily as bycatch in longlines and purse seines throughout its range. Catches are not well-reported and are often mixe with aggregate sailfish landings. There have been no stock assessments for this species and there is also limited life-history information. Given that it is caught with the same gear as the Blue Marlin and Striped Marlin, it is likely that the population of this species is declining as well, but there is no data to quantify this. It is therefore listed at present as Data Deficient. More information is needed on catch landings, discards and effort for this rare species.
For further information about this species, see TUNAS_SkiJumpEffect.pdf.
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Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widely distributed throughout the tropical and temperate Indo-Pacific, and enters the eastern Atlantic (via Cape of Good Hope) but does not spawn there. Although it seems unlikely, vagrants have been recorded in the Mediterranean Sea.

In the Eastern Pacific it is found from California and the mouth of the Gulf of California to Peru, including all of the oceanic islands.
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Angola (Angola); Australia; Bangladesh; Chile (Easter Is.); China; Christmas Island; Colombia; Comoros; Cook Islands; Costa Rica; Ecuador (Galápagos); El Salvador; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Guatemala; Honduras; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Japan; Kenya; Kiribati; Korea, Republic of; Madagascar; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nauru; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Seychelles; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States; United States Minor Outlying Islands (US Line Is.); Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
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: This is a rare species. The annual take from bycatch is estimated at several hundred metric tonnes per year (Nakamura 1985). FAO reported worldwide landings are very low, and range from eight tonnes in 1995 to 38 tonnes in 2006 (FAO 2009).

From 1994–2004 in the Eastern Pacific, landings varied between 100 and 300 metric tonnes per year. Prior to this time, there was no reporting of landings specific to this species. Landings data are now increasingly reported (IATTC 2008). Reported catches have increased since 1994, reaching a peak of 304 tons in 2001. Recent catches appear stable (274 t in 2002, 293 t in 2003, 208 t in 2004, 278 t in 2005 and 263 t in 2006). The preliminary catch estimate in 2007 is only 2 tons. EU-Spain in 2007 reported very low catches, 0.1 t in the western central Pacific and <0.01 t in the eastern Pacific (STECF 2009).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is oceanic and epipelagic, and is generally found above the thermocline (Nakamura 1985). It is found well offshore and rarely enters coastal waters. It feeds on fishes, cephalopods, and crustaceans.

This fish can weigh up to 52 kg. Average length of fish caught in long lines is 135cm eye fork length in the eastern Pacific. Maximum size is about 2 m and 52 kg in weight. Females are on average slightly larger than males.

Spawning is believed to occur mainly during winter months, especially in warm offshore currents with surface temperatures of about 25°C. Diameters of eggs shed range from 1.3–1.6 mm (mean 1.442 mm) in the equatorial western Indian Ocean (Collette 2010, Nakamura 1985).

Maximum Size is 230 cm total length (TL). The all-tackle game fish record is of a 50 kg fish caught in Botany Bay, Sydney, Australia in 2008 (IGFA 2011).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not targeted in fisheries, but may be retained when caught incidentally. It is marketed, mostly frozen, in Japan. The flesh is not of high value compared with that of other billfishes, and is used mainly for fish cakes and sausages.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no special fisheries for this species, but it is caught incidentally by commercial long lines and trolling. It is also caught by sports fishermen.

This species is taken as bycatch, similar to blue and striped marlin, primarily in long-lines and secondarily in purse-seines, but the quantity is not generally recorded.

Pacific
The Shortbill Spearfish is occasionally taken as a bycatch in various fisheries or is a target species in some artisanal or recreational fisheries. The Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries of the EU (STECF) notes that quantities of billfish caught in the Pacific Ocean are still not reported by species and many catches known to occur are not reported at all. The lack of reliable catch data is affecting the understanding of this stock and the management advice (STECF 2009).

Atlantic
This species is primarily taken by longline fisheries (including various EU longline fisheries), but also by purse seines (including EU purse seiners), some artisanal gear and also by various sport fisheries located on both sides of the Atlantic. The increasing use of anchored fish aggregating devices (FADs) by various artisanal and sport fisheries is possibly increasing the vulnerability of these stocks (STECF 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A highly migratory species, listed under Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (FAO Fisheries Department 1994).

Size limitations, encouragement of catch-and-release sport fishing, and recommendations for using circle hooks instead of J-hooks are measures designed to increase survival in catch-and-release sport fishing (Serafy et al. 2009).

Citation: Collette, B., Acero, A., Canales Ramirez, C., Carpenter, K.E., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Miyabe, N., Montano Cruz, R., Nelson, R., Schaefer, K., Serra, R., Sun, C., Uozumi, Y. & Yanez, E. 2011. Tetrapturus angustirostris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 August 2014.
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