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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs are encased in horny shells (Ref. 205).
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Distribution

Range Description

Known primarily from Japan, off Honshu from Sagami and Suruga Bays, also reported from the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and the East China Sea. Probably also occurs in the South China Sea and off Indonesia and may be relatively widespread throughout the Northwest and North Central Pacific.
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Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.
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Northwest Pacific: Japan (Ref. 559), Philippines (Ref. 47737) and South Korea (Ref. 77001).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A benthopelagic species occurring in deepwater bays and troughs and on upper to middle slopes. Recorded depth range is 325 to 710 m, but probably occurs in deeper waters. This is a small-bodied species, similar to Hydrolagus mirabilis. Oviparous, very little is known of reproductive biology although a few eggs and small juveniles have been collected. Diet probably consists of a variety of benthic invertebrates.

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (total/body length): ~65 to 70 cm TL (~30 to 35 cm BDL) (male & female).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total/body length): 79 cm TL (37 cm BDL).
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

demersal; marine
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous (Ref. 205).
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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
2006

Assessor/s
Dagit, D.D.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L. & Compagno, L.J.V. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Hydrolagus mitsukurii is a very poorly known species with a range apparently restricted to parts of the Northwest and Western Central Pacific. Known primarily from Japan, but also reported from the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and the East China Sea, this species may have a wider range in the North Pacific including the South China Sea and Indonesia. Prefers deep bays and slopes and reported from depths of 325 to 710 m, this species may be more abundant at greater depths. Based on existing specimens and records this species is seemingly rare; however, this may be a reflection of local fishing effort. Although a few egg capsules and small juveniles have been collected, very little is known of the biology of this species, particularly reproductive biology and life history parameters. Probably a single population exists, restricted to the North Pacific. Although not directly targeted, this species is landed and utilised in some fish markets in Taiwan, and possibly elsewhere when captured as bycatch in deepwater fishing activities. Landing of this species in Taiwan appears to be a more recent occurrence, suggesting that fishers are moving into deeper waters, probably as a result of the depletion of shallower water resources. As such, the species may face potential threats due to habitat destruction and/or bycatch fishing should deepwater trawling operations increase in the region. More data and specimens are needed and a reassessment is recommended pending the acquisition of additional data on this species.
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Population

Population
Apparently a relatively rare species based on capture records; however, this may be due to the fact that most fishing in the region occurs at depths shallower than the preferred depth for this species; hence it is rarely collected rather than actually being rare in terms of actual numbers. Further data will be needed to verify actual abundance of the species. Likely a single population occurring throughout its range.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Overall, the species is presently considered rare, but more information is needed with regard to capture levels as well as geographic range of this species.

Fairly commonly landed in some fish markets in Taiwan (W. White, pers. comm.) and probably caught as bycatch in deepwater trawls elsewhere (for example in Suruga Bay, Japan). Landing of this species in Taiwan appears to be a more recent occurrence, suggesting that fishers are moving into deeper waters, probably as a result of the depletion of shallower water resources.

Potentially faces threat of habitat destruction and/or capture as bycatch should deepwater fishing efforts increase in the region.
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Additional specimens, particularly from parts of the range outside Japan are needed for research. In addition, it is recommended that life history data be collected from all captured specimens.

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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Wikipedia

Hydrolagus mitsukurii

Hydrolagus mitsukurii is a species of fish in the Chimaeridae family found in China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, and possibly Indonesia. Its natural habitat is open seas. It is threatened by habitat loss. It is one of several species commonly called spookfish.

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