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Taeniurops meyeni

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES DASYATIDAE

Scientific Name: Taeniurops meyeni
Species Authority: (Müller & Henle, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Black-blotched Stingray, Black-spotted Stingray, Blotched Fantail Ray, Fantail Stingray, Giant Reef Ray, Round Ribbontail Ray, Speckled Stingray
French Pastenague Eventail
Synonym(s):
Taeniura melanospilos Bleeker, 1853
Taeniura meyeni Müller & Henle, 1841
Taxonomic Notes: Some authors have placed the genus Taeniura in the family Potamotrygonidae, however, it is generally accepted to belong in the family Dasyatidae.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ad+3d+4ad ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M. & White, W.T.
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S.L. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Taeniura meyeni is a large (to 1.8 m disc width), widely distributed Indo-West Pacific stingray associated with coral reef and sandy habitats. Found inshore to a depth of 439 m. Little is known of its biology, although litter size is known to be small (up to seven young). There is also little information on threats and fishery catches throughout much of the species' range, but given the intense fishing pressure known to be on large batoid species in areas such as Southeast Asia, the particular vulnerability of the species to various fishing methods, its limited life history characteristics and the general declining health of coral reef systems (its main habitat) throughout its Indo-West Pacific distribution, the species is assessed globally as Vulnerable. In Australia, the species is considered Least Concern due to protection afforded in marine parks and the effective use of Turtle Exclusion Devices in northern Australian prawn trawl fisheries, which should limit the catch of the species there. Similarly, it is assessed as Least Concern in the Maldives where the species has a high ecotourism value and is thus afforded protection through the prohibition of the export of rays and ray products.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Wide Indo-West Pacific distribution.
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia); Bangladesh; Cambodia; China; Cook Islands; Djibouti; Ecuador (Galápagos); Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Japan; Kenya; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Madagascar; Malaysia; Mauritius; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Oman; Pakistan; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Qatar; Réunion; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Somalia; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal); Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; United Arab Emirates; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Relationships between populations across its wide distribution not known.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Benthic around coral reef habitats and on sand substrates from the surf zone offshore to 439 m depth (Compagno et al. 1989, Last and Compagno 1999). Very little is known of its biology. Aplacental viviparous with reported litter sizes of up to seven young (Compagno et al. 1989).

Feeds on bivalves, crabs, shrimp and benthic fishes (Compagno et al. 1989).

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (disc width): Female: unknown; Male: 100 to 110 cm DW (W. White unpublished data).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (disc width): 180 cm DW; ~330 cm TL (Last and Stevens 1994).
Size at birth: ~35 cm DW; 67 cm TL (Last and Stevens 1994); 33 cm DW (W. White unpublished data).
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Litter sizes up to 7 (Compagno et al. 1989).
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is caught by line gear and trawl throughout its range. Throughout Southeast Asia there is significant fishing pressure on large batoids, and whether targeted or taken as bycatch, all are landed and utilised. For example, in Indonesia Taeniura meyeni is regularly taken in low numbers by tangle netters operating out of Jakarta (Java), Bali and Merauke (West Papua), while demersal longliners that operate out of Lombok and large pair trawlers operating out of Merauke irregularly take adults. The latter fishery consists of some 650 vessels and pressure is intense where the vessels operate in the Arafura Sea. Low numbers of juveniles are also taken by prawn and fish trawlers around Indonesia, particularly in the Java Sea.

Overall, fishing pressure is significant over most of the species' range throughout Asia and across its Indian Ocean range (India, East Africa etc.). Additional pressure exists on its habitat in that region due to destructive fishing practices (dynamite fishing) and run-off impacting coral reef systems, the main habitat of the species.

In Australia, the species is a discarded bycatch in demersal prawn trawl fisheries. In the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), Taeniura meyeni had a mean catch rate of 0.4 individuals/km2 and was classified as amongst the least sustainable elasmobranch bycatch species in the fishery (this assessment combines the species' susceptibility to capture and mortality due to trawling and the capacity of the species to recover after depletion by trawling) (Stobutzki et al. 2002). The mandatory use of Turtle Exclusions Devices in prawn trawl fisheries operating off northern Australia (including the NPF and the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery) should limit the catch of this species in these fisheries.

Taken by recreational surf and skiboat anglers off South Africa, but is apparently released unharmed (Compagno et al. 1989). Also a bycatch of offshore trawlers off southern Africa (Compagno et al. 1989).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Taeniura meyeni is afforded protection in some regions in marine protected areas. These include the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia and in marine reserves created around diving sites in the Maldives in recognition of the high value of sharks and rays to tourism (Anderson and Waheed 2001).

The Maldives banned the export of rays on 1995 and the export of ray skins in 1996. Again, this was to protect the tourism resource (Anderson and Waheed 2001).

The recreational line fishery in South Africa is managed by a bag limit of one/species/person/day for unspecified chondrichthyans, which includes T. meyeni.

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 sustainable management of all chondrichthyan species in the region. See Anon. (2004) for an update of progress made by nations in the range of T. meyeni.

Citation: Kyne, P.M. & White, W.T. 2006. Taeniurops meyeni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 August 2014.
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