IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category Year Assessed
Critically Endangered Red List Criteria
Chiaramonte, G., Domingo, A. & Soto, J. Reviewer/s
Musick, J., Dudley, S., Soldo, A., Francis, M., Valenti, S.V. & Kyne, P.M. (Shark Red List Authority) Contributor/s Justification
A large migratory coastal shark with one of the lowest reproductive rates known among chondrichthyans, giving birth to only one or two large young every two years. As a result, annual rates of population increase and ability to sustain fishing pressure are extremely low. Although the species is widespread in subtropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea, regional populations are isolated and are not thought to mix. In the Southwest Atlantic, the species ranges from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (21°S) to San Matías Gulf, Argentina (41°30’S). Although it is not directly fished in this region, it does have commercial value as a bycatch in benthic trawling and gillnet fisheries and is harvested throughout this range by commercial, artisanal and recreational (mainly in Argentina) fishing. In Uruguay, this species has been taken for over 50 years by the artisanal fleet and it formed an important component of gillnet catches off southern Brazil in the 1980s. Catches have declined dramatically off Uruguay from 784 kg per fishing day in 1985 to 32 kg per fishing day in 2001 and off southern Brazil from a CPUE of 11.7 to 0.3 sharks per 1,000 meters of net during the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. Recent surveys (2005) also appear to indicate that catches in the gillnet fisheries off southern Brazil have declined considerably relative to levels in the 1980s. Aggregations off Brazil were also targeted by spear-fishers for sport in the 1970s and 1980s. This species is assessed as Critically Endangered due to a combination of a severe depletion along the Brazilian coast since the 1970s and declining trends in the Uruguayan coastal fisheries. Coastal fishing pressure is intense and continuing within its range along the South Atlantic coast of South America. The species is listed as threatened with over-exploitation on Annex II of the Brazilian federal law of Threatened and Overexploited Aquatic Species. However there are no known species-specific management measures in place for it within the region and protection measures are urgently required.