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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

A little-known deepwater dogfish, probably found below 200 m depth. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449).
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Distribution

Range Description

Known from the Northwest and Western Central Pacific. Nominal from the Western Central Atlantic.
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Northwest Pacific: southeastern Honshu, Japan. Western Central Atlantic: Gulf of Mexico.
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Indo-West Pacific and ? western Atlantic.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 810 mm TL
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Max. size

81.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 247))
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Inhabits the outer continental shelves and upper slopes at depths of 150 to 950 m, mostly below 200 m and possibly found as deep as 1,786 m in the Philippines. Nominal C. acus in the Western Central Atlantic have been recorded at 630 to 915 m (Compagno in prep a).

Little known of this species biology as few adults have been collected. This is a large species of Centrophorus reaching at least 161 cm TL. Yano and Tanaka (1986) described a 161 cm TL mature specimen with five enlarged (5.5 cm diameter) (ovarian) eggs and enlarged uteri. While exact litter sizes are unknown, the small number of eggs in this specimen suggests a small litter size (Compagno in prep a). This species appears to mature late with females maturing at possibly >20 years (Tanaka 1990). Estimated sizes and ages at maturity are given in the life history parameters (below).

Based on stomach fullness, C. acus appears to feed more actively at night (Compagno in prep a). A tracking study in Suruga Bay, Japan showed that tagged sharks exhibited little horizontal movements in the short term and remained mostly at 10 to 50 m above the seabed with peaks in swimming depths at 300 to 400 m and 580 to 620 m (Yano and Tanaka 1986).

Life history parameters
Age at maturity: Female: possibly >20 yrs. Females still immature at 17 to 18 yrs (Tanaka 1990); Male: ~10 yrs (Tanaka 1990)
Size at maturity (total length): Female: Females immature to 154 cm TL, mature at 161 cm TL (Yano and Tanaka 1986); Male: 50% maturity: 100 to 105 cm TL (Yano and Tanaka 1986).
Longevity: Females: >20 yrs; Male: Males: 17 yrs (dorsal spine rings), possibly up to 20 yrs (extrapolated from growth curve) (Tanaka 1990).
Maximum size (total length): At least 161 cm TL (Yano and Tanaka 1986).
Size at birth (cm): Unknown.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Unknown.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 200 - 1000 m
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Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 722 - 1785
  Temperature range (°C): 6.530 - 6.617
  Nitrate (umol/L): 28.109 - 29.943
  Salinity (PPS): 34.827 - 34.942
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.141 - 3.201
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.828 - 1.849
  Silicate (umol/l): 20.296 - 25.257

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 722 - 1785

Temperature range (°C): 6.530 - 6.617

Nitrate (umol/L): 28.109 - 29.943

Salinity (PPS): 34.827 - 34.942

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.141 - 3.201

Phosphate (umol/l): 1.828 - 1.849

Silicate (umol/l): 20.296 - 25.257
 
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Ovoviviparous, embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
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Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 20 years (wild)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Centrophorus acus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Horodysky, A.Z. & Burgess, G.H.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M., Heupel, M.R., Simpfendorfer, C.A. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Centrophorus acus is a poorly known deepwater shark with a limited known distribution in the Western Pacific around parts of Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. It is also nominally recorded from the Western Central Atlantic and the relationship between these forms needs taxonomic resolution when more specimens are available. Few adult specimens of this large (to at least 161 cm total length) Centrophorus species have been collected. This shark has a potentially low fecundity (based on examination of mature females) and a lengthy maturation (females possibly mature >20 years based on dorsal spine examination). Around Japan and Taiwan this species is taken both in targeted deepwater fisheries for squalene (liver) oil and as bycatch in demersal trawl, longline, dropline and gillnet fisheries. Specific information on catches is not available. The species? biological attributes, together with its limited distribution, make it highly susceptible to population depletion as with other deepwater dogfish with similar life-history strategies. The vulnerability of Centrophorus species to population depletion from localized fishing has been well documented off the east coast of Australia where trawl fishing has depleted the stocks of several species. As such, C. acus is assessed as Near Threatened globally and there is an urgent need for appraisal of catches of this species where it is landed in Japan and Taiwan, and for the development of appropriate management given the apparent limited life-history characteristics of the species. The (nominal) Western Central Atlantic subpopulation is assessed as Data Deficient due to complete lack of information at this time.
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Population

Population
Locally common in several locations in the western Pacific, including in Suruga Bay, southeastern Honshu, Japan.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The vulnerability of Centrophorus species to population depletion from localized fishing has been well documented off the east coast of Australia where trawl fishing has depleted the stocks of several species (Graham et al. 2001).

Centrophorus acus may be highly susceptible to overfishing as with other deepwater dogfish with similar life-history strategies. In the waters off Honshu, Japan, C. acus is caught in localized bottom longline, dropline, and gillnet fisheries and trawls that target deepwater sharks for squalene (liver) oil. This species is also caught off Taiwan, as bycatch of demersal trawl fisheries, and probably in targeted fisheries for deepwater squaloids (Yano and Tanaka 1983, Compagno, in prep a).

Part of the species' known depth range is beyond that of present fisheries. Presently unexploited depths may serve as a refuge for the species, although the extent of this is unknown given the lack of information on any difference in movement patterns, habitat use and depth segregation between sexes/maturity stages, etc.

Threats in the Western Central Atlantic are unknown, but may include bycatch in demersal longline fisheries.
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Near Threatened (NT)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation actions are currently in place.

Deepwater squaloids are highly susceptible to population depletion from localized fishing activities. This situation has been well documented with Centrophorus species off the east coast of Australia (Graham et al. 1997). There is thus an urgent need for appraisal of catches of this species where it is landed in Japan and Taiwan, and the development of appropriate management given the apparent limited life-history characteristics of the species.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Needle dogfish

The needle dogfish, Centrophorus acus, is a small, little-known deepwater shark. It is found in the northern Gulf of Mexico and the western Pacific Ocean around Honshū, Japan.The needle dogfish, is a junior synonym of gulper shark,Centrophorus granulosus. (White & al. 2013).

Description[edit]

This type of shark has no anal fin, two dorsal fins with large spines. Also unicuspidate teeth on both jaws that are very sharp almost bladelike. The lower jaw teeth are much longer than the ones in the upper jaw. A long snout, leafshaped, and the rear tips of the pectoral fins are narrowly angular and strongly extended.[1]

References[edit]

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