Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Biology little-known. Oviparous. Utilized for oil, human consumption and fishmeal or fish cakes.
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Distribution

Range Description

The holotype was recorded from Choshi, Japan (Nakaya 1975). The species is distributed from Fukushima to Chiba Prefecture, northern Japan (Nakaya unpub. data). Records south of this (from southern Japan and southern Japanese Islands) are now considered incorrect and have resulted from misidentification with other species (Nakaya unpublished data).
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Northwest Pacific: off Chiba Prefecture, Honshu, Japan. Collected from the East China Sea (Ref. 559).
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Western North Pacific.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 710 mm TL
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Max. size

71.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 244)); 63 cm TL (female)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The Japanese Catshark is reported from depths of 600 to 800 m. Males begin to mature at 51 cm TL and females begin to mature at 55 cm TL. All males are mature at 62 cm TL and all females at 57 cm TL. Reproduction is single oviparous species, with one egg case peroviduct (Nakaya 1975 unpublished data).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 150.5 - 150.5
 
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Nakaya, K. & McCormack, C.

Reviewer/s
Valenti, S.V., Stevens, J., Fowler, S.L. & SSG Asia Northwest Pacific Red List Workshop participants (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
The Japanese Catshark (Apristurus japonicus) is distributed from Fukushima to Chiba Prefecture on the Pacific coast of northern Japan, at depths of 600–800 m. The species has a limited range and very little is known of its biology. The Japanese Catshark is taken as bycatch by bottom trawl and gillnet fisheries but no data are available on catches or population trends. It cannot be assessed beyond Data Deficient due to a lack of information; however its limited range and potentially vulnerable life-history characteristics are of concern. It is possible that declines have already occurred and this species may qualify for a threatened category in the future. Bycatch levels should be quantified and this assessment should be revisited in the near term.
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Population

Population
Apparently rare. No information is available on population size or abundance.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is taken as bycatch in bottom trawl and gillnet fisheries operating within its range, but no data are available on catch levels or population trends. Given the species’ limited range and potential biological vulnerability, any bycatch may be of concern.
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No management or conservation efforts are currently in place. Like many deeper water species more information on biology, ecology and importance in fisheries are required to further assess status and any future conservation needs. Where taken, catches require monitoring, particularly as deepwater fisheries expand worldwide.

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 management of all chondrichthyan species in the region.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; price category: low; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
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Wikipedia

Japanese catshark

The Japanese catshark, Apristurus japonicus, is a catshark of the family Scyliorhinidae, found in the northwest Pacific off Chiba Prefecture, Honshū, Japan, between 36 and 34°N. This shark has a relatively slender body, with the trunk tapering towards the head. Its snout is moderately long, bell-shaped, and broad; the preoral snout is about 7 to 8% of total its length. It has large gill slits, rather small eyes in adults, nostrils fairly broad, and a long broad, arched mouth. It is commonly taken by trawl off the type locality, and possibly used for oil, human consumption, and fishmeal or fish cakes locally.

References[edit]

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