IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Bradaï, M.N., Serena, F., Bianchi, I. (Mediterranean) and Ebert, D.A. (South Africa)
Dulvy, N.K., Cavanagh, R.D., Valenti, S.V. & Soldo, A. (Shark Red List Authority)
A medium-sized (to 150 cm but mostly <100 cm) deepwater, bottom dwelling shark distributed throughout the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean and possibly off Mozambique at known depths of 60 to 660 m. Taken primarily as bycatch by offshore bottom and pelagic trawlers in the Mediterranean Sea and the Northeast Atlantic. Survey data for the Mediterranean indicate that the species is now rare in the western (Morocco, Spain and France) and eastern (Aegean) areas and absent from the eastern central area (Adriatic, Ionian and Albania). However, records in the Adriatic and Ionian, suggest that the species still exists there in unknown numbers. In another survey, the species was also absent in the Gulf of Lions where it once occurred, indicating that it may be locally extinct in that region. The large spiny dorsal fins and relatively large body size make this species particularly vulnerable to capture in nets and its depth distribution lies entirely within the depth of fisheries throughout much of its range. The mortality of discards is likely to be high given the depths of capture. The current extremely low level of abundance throughout much of this species former range, and evidence for local scale declines, suggests an assessment of Critically Endangered in the Mediterranean. Off southern Africa, O. centrina is only known from a few specimens. It may occasionally be caught as bycatch in trawl fisheries there, but at present it is not possible to assess this species beyond Data Deficient in this region. Data are lacking on population trends in the Northeast Atlantic, however, given the high fishing pressure throughout much of its range in the Northeast Atlantic, the growing trend in deep sea fishing, the vulnerable life-history characteristics, and susceptibility to capture, there is no reason to suspect that it has not also declined in this region. Based on the species unproductive life history characteristics and documented declines in the Mediterranean as well as inferred declines in the Northeast Atlantic, and continuing fishing pressure through much of its range, the species is assessed as Vulnerable globally, on the basis of suspected and documented past and future declines.