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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Epibenthic (Ref. 58426). Found on continental slopes and down to deep-sea plains. Reported down up to 3000 m along the mid-Atlantic ridge (Ref. 83979, C.Cotton pers.comm. 03/10). Feeds on small fishes and invertebrates (Ref. 6680). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs are encased in horny shells (Ref. 205).
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Color: Uniform dark violet/brown.
  • HARDY G.S. & M. STEHMANN (1990) Arch. Fischereiwiss. 40(3): 229-248.

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Benthopelagic on continental slopes and down to abyssal plains. At Lucky Strike, specimens were observed swimming gently above the bottom and off the hydrothermal vent field. Carnivorous. At Lucky Strike, preys included the vent endemic mussel, Bathymodiolus azoricus. Oviparous.
  • HARDY G.S. & M. STEHMANN (1990) Arch. Fischereiwiss. 40(3): 229-248.

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Distribution

southeastern Grand Bank off Sable Island, offshore of Banquereau and La Have banks, and from southern Nova Scotia to Hudson Canyon
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Range Description

Primarily occurring in the central and eastern north Atlantic, but also captured in the western Atlantic. Probably widespread throughout the northern Atlantic with greatest abundance at depths greater than 1,000 m.
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Northeast Atlantic: Rockall Trough along Ireland, northern Bay of Biscay and off Portugal. Reported from Iceland (Ref. 12462). Southwest Atlantic: Uruguay (Ref. 58839). Northwest Atlantic: Newfoundland in Canada to Cape Cod in USA. Probably has a much wider distribution. Possibly occurring off the Cape in South Africa and off Mozambique (Ref. 11228).
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North Atlantic.
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Western Atlantic: On the continental slope of North America, along Nova Scotia Banks and the Grand Banks to Cape Cod, USA. Eastern Atlantic: off the coast of Portugal.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Hardy, G.S. and M. Stehmann, 1990; Stehmann, M. and D.L. B?l, 1984; Whiteheat, P.J.P., M.-L. Bauchot, J-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen, and E. Tortonese, 1984.
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General: Western Atlantic: from Davis Strait and off Newfoundland to Cape Cod. Eastern Atlantic: Denmark Strait, Rockall Trough, northern Bay of Biscay and off the coast of Portugal. Possibly a much wider Distribution than records show. Mid-Atlantic Ridge vents: Lucky Strike, Mount Saldanha, Famous Segment, Rainbow. Depth range: 300 to 2400 m.
  • HARDY G.S. & M. STEHMANN (1990) Arch. Fischereiwiss. 40(3): 229-248.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Body greatly tapering from a massive head and trunk to a pointed caudal fin with a short filament at its tip. Snout short, somewhat conical, overhanging mouth. First dorsal fin short-based, triangular and high, with a strong spine in front. Second dorsal fin long and low. Pectoral fins not reaching to pelvic fin base when laid back. Anal fin continuous with caudal fin.
  • HARDY G.S. & M. STEHMANN (1990) Arch. Fischereiwiss. 40(3): 229-248.

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Size

Maximum size: 1300 mm TL
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Max. size

130 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4443)); 125 cm TL (female)
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to 130.0 cm TL.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Hardy, G.S. and M. Stehmann, 1990; Stehmann, M. and D.L. B?l, 1984; Whiteheat, P.J.P., M.-L. Bauchot, J-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen, and E. Tortonese, 1984.
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To about 1300 mm total length.
  • HARDY G.S. & M. STEHMANN (1990) Arch. Fischereiwiss. 40(3): 229-248.

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Diagnostic Description

Lacks a separate anal fin. Pectoral fin does not overlap pelvic fin. Short caudal filament. Dark brown in color (Ref. 6902).
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Type Information

Type for Hydrolagus affinis
Catalog Number: USNM 33435
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1883
Locality: 1290 Fm, New York, United States, Atlantic
Vessel: Albatross
  • Type:
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Type for Hydrolagus affinis
Catalog Number: USNM 20935
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1877
Locality: La Have Bank, 300 Fath., Nova Scotia, Canada, Atlantic
  • Type:
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Ecology

Habitat

benthic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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near bottom in coastal waters, depths to 640m
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Occurs on deepwater slopes, seamounts, and seaplains of the north Atlantic at depths of 300 to 2,410 m, generally occurring in waters near or below 1,000 m (Stehmann and Bürkel 1984, Krefft 1990). Size range 32 to 147 cm total length (TL); 14 to 96 cm body length (BDL).

Nothing is known of biology and ecology of this species. Diet probably consists of a variety of bottom dwelling invertebrates and other fish. Oviparous but nothing is known of reproduction, spawning or growth. It is likely that this is a slow-growing species with low fecundity.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 300 - 3000 m (Ref. 4443)
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Depth range based on 25 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 22 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1009 - 2652
  Temperature range (°C): 2.909 - 4.727
  Nitrate (umol/L): 16.616 - 21.637
  Salinity (PPS): 34.904 - 35.050
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.933 - 6.356
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.098 - 1.501
  Silicate (umol/l): 11.223 - 27.750

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1009 - 2652

Temperature range (°C): 2.909 - 4.727

Nitrate (umol/L): 16.616 - 21.637

Salinity (PPS): 34.904 - 35.050

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.933 - 6.356

Phosphate (umol/l): 1.098 - 1.501

Silicate (umol/l): 11.223 - 27.750
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 300 - 2400m.
From 300 to 2400 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal.
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Bathydemersal; marine; depth range 300 - 2400 m.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Hardy, G.S. and M. Stehmann, 1990; Stehmann, M. and D.L. B?l, 1984; Whiteheat, P.J.P., M.-L. Bauchot, J-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen, and E. Tortonese, 1984.
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Trophic Strategy

Found on continental slopes and down to deep-sea plains. Feeds on small fishes and invertebrates (Ref. 3330).
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Small fishes and invertebrates.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Hardy, G.S. and M. Stehmann, 1990; Stehmann, M. and D.L. B?l, 1984; Whiteheat, P.J.P., M.-L. Bauchot, J-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen, and E. Tortonese, 1984.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Diet

Small invertebrates and fishes
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Life Cycle

Oviparous (Ref. 205).
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Reproduction

No information on egg capsules or juveniles.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Hardy, G.S. and M. Stehmann, 1990; Stehmann, M. and D.L. B?l, 1984; Whiteheat, P.J.P., M.-L. Bauchot, J-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen, and E. Tortonese, 1984.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hydrolagus affinis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2007

Assessor/s
Dagit, D.D. & Clarke, M.W.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Kulka, D.W. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
A deepwater slope, seamount and seaplain dwelling fish reported at depths of 300 to 2,410 m, most commonly found below 1,000 m. This species appears to be widespread in the northern Atlantic. Almost nothing is known of population size, biology and reproduction in this species and most captures are large adults near or >100 cm TL. Likely a slow-growing species with low fecundity. Not commonly captured except in deepwater research trawls and occasionally as bycatch in deepwater commercial trawls. Potentially threatened by emerging deepwater commercial trawl fisheries in the North Atlantic. However, this species is present deeper than the main fisheries operating within its range and it is therefore considered Least Concern. Furthermore, it may be distributed at greater depths than currently reported offering a deep refuge from fishing pressure. Although it is considered unlikely that fisheries will ever target this species due to its low abundance, study of population size, and age and growth is highly recommended as this may be a slow-growing species that could be affected by bycatch.
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Population

Population
Nothing is known of population size or structure. Almost all captures are large adults or subadult juveniles at or >100 cm TL. Very few small juveniles have ever been collected indicating that juveniles and adults may aggregate separately and occupy different habitats.

H. affinis is only rarely encountered in Canadian waters, in 70 of about 42,000 survey sets most of which occurred at >1,000 m (87% of captures were at >1,000 m) (D. Kulka pers comm).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Not commonly captured except when collected in deepwater research trawls and possibly as a bycatch in some deep water trawls. Not known to be targeted at present and it is not considered a likely future target due to its low abundance. Could face a potential threat in the future if emerging deep water commercial trawl fisheries capture this large species in large numbers, however H. affinis is considered to occur deeper than the main fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic, offering a deep refuge from fishing pressure. As this species is thought to be slow growing with low fecundity, monitoring of deepwater fishing activities, including landings and discards will be essential to ensure that this species is not adversely affected.

Areas of the Northeast Atlantic, for example the Rockall Trough have been subject to a fairly rapid increase in deepwater fishing activities since the 1990s with overall concern for the sustainability of deepwater fish stocks (Gordon 2003). Since 1998 Norwegian trawlers and longliners have carried out trial and commercial fisheries in the Hatton Bank area (ICES VIb and XII) at depths between 600 to 2,000 m (Kjerstad et al. 2003). However, the lower depth limit of fisheries in this region may be about 1,500 m.

In the northwest Atlantic, deepest fishing sets occur at 1,500 m off Newfoundland (most deep fishing in the range of 700 to 1,200 m), and 400 m off Nova Scotia (D. Kulka pers. comm.). About 10-20% of the Northwest Atlantic slope is fished annually (D. Kulka pers. comm).

This species' wide depth distribution and they are more commonly caught at depths greater than 1,000 m offer refuge from fishing pressure. Not commonly captured except when collected in deepwater research trawls and possibly as a bycatch in some deep water trawls. Could face a potential threat in the future if emerging deep water commercial trawl fisheries capture this large species in large numbers as a target or bycatch fisher.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No management or conservation measures are known to be in place. Study of population size, and age and growth of this species is recommended prior to initiating any target fishery as this may be a slow-growing species that would be highly threatened by overfishing. Management and monitoring of captures of this species should be a priority.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Small-eyed rabbitfish


The small-eyed rabbitfish (Hydrolagus affinis) is a species of fish in the Chimaeridae family.[2] It has very wide distribution almost everywhere in northern Atlantic at depths from 300 to 2,410 m, being most common below 1,000 m.[3] Its total length ranges from 32 to 147 cm. It has a short nose with a blunt tip. The small mouth is located on the lower part of the head and has thick lips. Its back slopes gradually and ends to a fine tail.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dagit, D.D. & Clarke, M.W. (2007). "Hydrolagus affinis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2008). "Hydrolagus affinis" in FishBase. November 2008 version.
  3. ^ http://www.gma.org/fogm/hydrolagus_affinis.htm
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