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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found on or near the bottom of continental slopes; also found pelagically in the upper 1,250 m of water 4,000 m deep (Ref. 31367). Presumably feeds on fish and cephalopods (Ref. 6871). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Utilized and fishmeal and dried salted for human consumption (Ref. 247); meat and fins (low value) and liver oil (very high value), and occasionally for its mature eggs (Ref.58048).
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Description

 The leafscraper shark Centrophorus squamosus is a moderately large deep water dogfish reaching up to 160 cm in length. It has a uniform drab-gray dorsal colouring and a slightly paler ventral colouring. It has a moderately long and broad snout and large reflective eyes. The leafscraper shark does not have an anal fin and has two dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin is quite short and the second is relatively high when compared to similar species. Both have prominent spines. Lateral tooth-like projections are present on the body.Unlike the gulper shark Centrophorus granulosus, the tooth-like projections on the of the leafscraper shark are tapering and leaf-like and on an elevated narrow to broad stalk. Furthermore the free rear tips of the pectoral fins are broadly angular and do not reach past the first dorsal fin spine.
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Distribution

Range Description

Centrophorus squamosus has a wide distribution: in the eastern Atlantic from Iceland and the Atlantic slope to the Canary Islands, Senegal, Faeroes, Madeira, Azores, Gabon to Dem. Rep. Congo, Namibia, and western Cape of Good Hope (South Africa); western Indian Ocean (Natal off South Africa and the Aldabra Islands); eastern Indian Ocean (Tasmania and Victoria in Australia); the northwest Pacific, i.e., Japan, the western central Pacific (Philippines and Indonesia) and the southwestern Pacific, i.e. New Zealand and Australia (New South Wales) (Brito 1991, Last and Stevens 1994, Compagno and Niem 1998, Clarke et al. 2002, W. White, pers. obs.). The distribution for this species is considered to be more widespread in Australia than the records suggest (Last and Stevens 1994).

The level of fishing pressure needs to be examined in the various populations within its range to establish whether separate regional assessments are more suitable. For example, this species is caught in large numbers in the eastern Atlantic whereas they are not targeted or commonly caught as bycatch in Australian waters.
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Eastern Atlantic: Iceland and Atlantic slope to Senegal, Faeroes, Madeira, Azores, Gabon to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, western Cape of Good Hope (South Africa). Western Indian Ocean: off Natal, South Africa (Ref. 5578), Aldabra Islands and Arabian Sea (Ref.85183). Western Pacific: Japan, Philippines, southeastern Australia and New Zealand.
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Cosmopolitan: Indo-West Pacific and eastern Atlantic.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 0
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Size

Maximum size: 1600 mm TL
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Max. size

164 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 58048))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

A large, deepwater dogfish of the continental slopes. Rare above 1000 m depth in the eastern Atlantic. Also found pelagically between the surface and 1250 m. Ovoviviparous, with number of young 5 per litter. Utilized dried salted for human consumption and for fishmeal.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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A large gulper shark with a short, broad snout, a long, low 1st dorsal fin, short pectoral rear tips, and large, rough, leaf-like denticles (Ref. 5578). Dark grey or chocolate brown in color (Ref. 5578).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Centrophorus squamosus is found demersally on the continental slopes at depths between 230 and 2,400 m, also pelagically in the upper 1,250 m of oceanic water in depths to 4,000 m (Compagno and Niem 1998).

This species attains a maximum length of 1.6 m (Compagno and Niem 1998). Maturity is attained at approximately 100 cm total length (TL) in males and at approximately 125 cm in females (Girard and Du Buit 1999, Clarke et al. 2001). Centrophorus squamosus is ovoviviparous with 5 to 8 young born at a length between 35 and 43 cm (Last and Stevens 1994, Cox and Francis 1997). There is no apparent seasonal reproductive cycle in males (Girard et al. 2000).

A study of the age and growth of this species off the Atlantic Slope (off Ireland) provided age estimates of 21 to 70 years (Clarke et al. 2002), however, the validation of whether the rings were formed annually was not undertaken. This species presumably attains maturity at a relatively late age.

There is some preliminary data on the dietary compositions of this species (see Ebert et al. 1992).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 145 - 2400 m (Ref. 6871)
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Depth range based on 1580 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1217 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 200 - 1500
  Temperature range (°C): 2.859 - 10.382
  Nitrate (umol/L): 12.036 - 40.998
  Salinity (PPS): 34.276 - 35.567
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.348 - 6.361
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.785 - 2.731
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.349 - 85.761

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 200 - 1500

Temperature range (°C): 2.859 - 10.382

Nitrate (umol/L): 12.036 - 40.998

Salinity (PPS): 34.276 - 35.567

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.348 - 6.361

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.785 - 2.731

Silicate (umol/l): 1.349 - 85.761
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Centrophorus squamosus is a benthopelagic species which can be found offshore with a depth range of 150-1200 m.
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Depth: 145 - 2400m.
From 145 to 2400 meters.

Habitat: benthopelagic.
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Trophic Strategy

Found on or near the bottom of continental slopes; also found pelagically in the upper 1,250 m of water 4,000 m deep (Ref. 31367). Presumably feeds on fish and cephalopods (Ref. 6871) and myctophids (Ref. 58748).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Ovoviviparous, embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Young numbers 5-8 in a litter (Ref. 6871). Size at birth 35-43 cm (Ref. 26346). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
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Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 70 years (wild)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Centrophorus squamosus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 4 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CATAAAGATATCGGCACCCTATATTTAATCTTTGGTGCATGAGCAGGAATAGTGGGCACAGCTCTT---AGCTTACTTATTCGTACAGAATTAAGCCAACCGGGCACACTTCTGGGGGAT---GATCAAATCTACAATGTTATTGTGACTGCTCACGCTTTCGTAATAATCTTTTTTATAGTTATGCCTGTAATAATCGGTGGATTCGGAAACTGATTAGTACCTTTAATG---ATTGGTGCACCAGATATAGCTTTTCCACGAATAAATAATATAAGCTTTTGACTATTACCTCCATCTCTCTTATTACTTTTAGCCTCTGCTGGTGTTGAAGCAGGCGCTGGAACCGGCTGAACGGTTTACCCTCCTCTTGCTGGTAATATAGCCCATGCTGGAGCATCCGTAGATTTA---GCCATCTTCTCACTTCATTTAGCCGGTATTTCCTCAATTTTAGCCTCTATTAATTTTATTACCACTATTATTAATATAAAACCACCTGCCATTTCTCAATACCAAACGCCACTCTTTGTTTGATCCATCCTTGTAACCACCGTCCTTCTCCTACTTGCTCTCCCTGTCCTTGCCGCT---GCAATTACAATACTGTTAACTGACCGTAATCTAAATACAACATTTTTTGATCCAGCTGGAGGAGGAGACCCCATTCTTTACCAACATTTATTTTGATTCTTTGGCCAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Centrophorus squamosus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 29
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2bd+3bd+4bd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2003

Assessor/s
White, W.T. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)

Reviewer/s
Shark Specialist Group Australia & Oceania Regional Group (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Centrophorus squamosus is an important component of deepwater fisheries (longline and trawl) off Ireland, Spain, Portugal and France. Quantitative CPUE data available for autoline catches in three ICES areas (Northeast Atlantic) show an 80 to 90% decline in three years, a 67 to 77% decline in four years, and a 20 to 69% decline in one year. Although this data is for C. squamosus and Centroscymnus coelolepis combined, these declines together with the acute vulnerability to exploitation of Centrophorus species as shown from the New South Wales fishery independent surveys, and the knowledge that C. squamosus is the more vulnerable of these two species in terms of life history, leads to this species being assessed as Vulnerable. A stock analysis will be available shortly from the ?DELASS? project in the North East Atlantic and more detailed CPUE data throughout its range is required. The flesh and liver are marketed from this species in many areas throughout its range, e.g., eastern Atlantic and eastern Indonesia. In the latter region, C. squamosus is landed frequently but in relatively low numbers and in a very limited artisanal fishery.

The catches of this species in Australia and Oceania are relatively low and do not represent a significant component of the squaloid catches in either southeastern Australia and New Zealand, but at present there is not enough information to assess it beyond Data Deficient in this region.
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Population

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Centrophorus squamosus is an important component of deep-water fisheries in certain areas within its range. This shark has been exploited commercially for many years. In Japan exploitation peaked during World War II, because of the high percentage of squalene in its liver, but quickly declined due to decreasing numbers caught. Deep-water fisheries (longlining and trawling) which catch large quantities of this species are found in the eastern Atlantic, e.g., off Ireland, Spain, Portugal and France (Iglesias and Paz 1995, Clarke et al. 2001, Girard and De Buit 1999). For example, this species is targeted heavily by the Portuguese deep-water longline fishery for which exploitation peaked in 1986 (600 tonnes) and has been steadily declining since then (Correia and Smith, in prep). The catches of the mixed trawl fishery off Rockall Trough and Porcupine Bank in the eastern Atlantic, which consist predominantly of this species and Centroscymnus coelolepis, increased from 302 tonnes in 1991 to 3,284 tonnes in 1996, and then declined to 1,939 tonnes in 1999 (ICES 2000). Although this suggests that the population is declining, this data cannot be directly related to fishing effort and it is therefore possible that fishing effort declined between 1996 and 1999. The French bottom trawl fishery has shown rapidly increasing landings of these species, i.e., 322 tonnes in 1990 and 2,939 tonnes in 1996 (Girard and De Buit 1999). Quantitative catch per unit effort are available for autoline catches in ICES Area VI: 218 (1997) to 24 (2000); 219 (1998) to 42 (2000) = 80 to 90% decline in three years. Area VII: 221(96), 56 (97), 51 (99), 73 (00) = 67 to 77% decline in four years. Area XII: 100 (1999), 78 and 31 (2000) = 20 to 69% decline in one year (SGRST 2002). Although this data is for C. squamosus and Centroscymnus coelolepis combined, the acute vulnerability to exploitation of Centrophorus spp has been shown from the New South Wales (NSW) fishery independent surveys (Graham et al. 2001), and C. squamosus is the more vulnerable of these two species in terms of life history.

Artisanal deep-water longline fisheries in eastern Indonesia, e.g., Java and Bali, also commonly land this species but often in low numbers (W. White, unpubl. data). The catches of this species in Australia and Oceania are relatively low and do not represent a significant component of the squaloid catch in both southeastern Australia and New Zealand, however more data is required.

The flesh and liver are marketed from this species in many areas throughout its range.
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Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd+3bd+4bd)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Detailed quantitative information on catch per unit effort for Centrophorus squamosus throughout its range is required to assess whether CPUE is declining. The only information available on catch rates records tonnage landed annually on Rockall Trough and Porcupine Bank in the eastern Atlantic, but this cannot be related to effort and, thus, cannot be used to determine whether population sizes are decreasing. A stock analysis will be available shortly from the DELASS project in the North East Atlantic. It should also be noted that due to the apparently long lifespan of this species, the recovery of a heavily fished population would probably require a long period of time.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; price category: medium; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species
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Wikipedia

Leafscale gulper shark

The leafscale gulper shark, Centrophorus squamosus, is a dogfish of the family Centrophoridae.

Physical characteristics[edit]

Head.

The leafscale gulper shark has no anal fin, two dorsal fins with spines, the first dorsal being relatively low and long, large eyes, and rough leaf-like denticles. Its maximum length is 158 cm.

Distribution[edit]

Eastern Atlantic around continental slopes from Iceland south to the Cape of Good Hope, Western Indian Ocean around Aldabra Islands, and western Pacific around Honshū, Japan, the Philippines, south-east Australia, and New Zealand.

Habits and habitat[edit]

The leafscale gulper shark lives near the bottom between 230 and 2,360 meters, but usually below 1,000 meters. Also occurs pelagically in much deeper water. It probably feeds on fish and cephalopods.

It is ovoviviparous with a maximum of 5 young per litter.

Its meat is utilized dried and salted for human consumption and as fishmeal.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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