Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found on continental and insular slopes (Ref. 247). Occurs in large schools near the bottom which are segregated according to size and sex (Ref. 247). Feeds on cephalopods and bony fishes (Ref. 247). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205), with up to 36 young in a litter. Size at birth between 32 and 36 cm (Ref. 247). Used for fishmeal and liver oil (Ref. 6871). Minimum depth from Ref. 247.
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Distribution

Range Description

Southern Indo-Pacific. South-eastern Australia and New Zealand, but with a relatively wide depth range from 200 m to over 1,500 m, most often taken in depths of 500 to 1,000 m. Recently found off SE South Africa/Mozambique (Compagno, pers. comm.).

There is no information on whether the population off southern Australia (including seamounts to the south) is linked to the New Zealand population via seamounts and submarine ridges in the Lord Howe Rise in the Tasman Sea. It is unlikely that there is any physical connection with the population of "plunketi" recently located off southern Africa (Compagno, unpublished).
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Southwest Pacific: New Zealand and southeastern Australia.
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Southwestern Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Anal spines: 0; Analsoft rays: 0
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Size

Maximum size: 1310 mm TL
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Max. size

131 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 247)); 170 cm TL (female)
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Diagnostic Description

Dark grey-brown in color, dorsal fins with very small fin spines, very short snout, lanceolate upper teeth and bladelike lower teeth with short, oblique cusps, stocky body that tapers abruptly from pectoral region, moderately large dermal denticles with triple cusps and ridges in adults and subadults (Ref. 247).
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Marine, demersal, on the upper and middle continental slope, 200 to 1,500 m, usually 500 to 1,000 m. Occurs mainly around central and southern New Zealand. There is a trend for fish size to increase with depth, with the largest females in deepest water. It is probable that the species extends to greater depths than those sampled. Some early literature suggested that this was among the more abundant deepwater sharks off New Zealand; this may be true at some localities, but more extensive trawling in recent years shows this not to be generally true. It is not considered likely that this reflects a decline in abundance in recent decades. Trawl surveys off southeastern Australia yielded infrequent but large catches of C. plunketi, suggesting aggregations.

Born ~35 cm. Mature 100 to 120 cm (male), 130 to 145 cm (female). Maximum 170 cm. Ovoviparous with up to 36 pups per litter. Gestation period and reproductive cycle unknown.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 219 - 1550 m (Ref. 6871), usually 550 - 732 m (Ref. 247)
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
  • Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens 1994 Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia. 513 p. (Ref. 6871)
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Depth range based on 887 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 768 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 324 - 1269.5
  Temperature range (°C): 3.595 - 11.391
  Nitrate (umol/L): 14.239 - 33.777
  Salinity (PPS): 34.287 - 35.014
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.932 - 6.736
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.812 - 2.333
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.000 - 61.692

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 324 - 1269.5

Temperature range (°C): 3.595 - 11.391

Nitrate (umol/L): 14.239 - 33.777

Salinity (PPS): 34.287 - 35.014

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.932 - 6.736

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.812 - 2.333

Silicate (umol/l): 0.000 - 61.692
 
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Depth: 219 - 1550m.
From 219 to 1550 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal.
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Trophic Strategy

Found on continental and insular slopes. Occurs in large schools near the bottom which are segregated according to size and sex. Feeds on cephalopods and bony fishes.
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Ovoviviparous with up to 36 young in a litter. Size at birth between 32 and 36 cm (Ref. 247). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Centroscymnus plunketi

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 20
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
2003
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
Paul, L. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)

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

Contributor/s

Justification
A relatively uncommon deepwater shark within its known geographic range (parts of Australasia, perhaps now extended to southern Africa), although it may extend deeper than is currently recognised. Captured as bycatch in small but erratic quantities in some deepwater line and trawl fisheries, although presumably from only part of its known range. This species is of much lower abundance than the sympatric C. owstoni and its larger size and aggregating behaviour make it more susceptible to capture. The species appears to be of low productivity and if the population is mobile and migrates into and/or aggregates on exploited fishing grounds from other parts of its potentially small range, any increases in catches from increasing deepwater fisheries should be viewed with concern. These factors warrant a Near Threatened assessment.
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Population

Population
No information is available on the size of any population.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
A small bycatch in some deepwater line and trawl fisheries. Its aggregating behaviour makes it susceptible to localised depletion. There is some danger that because its geographic and depth range coincides with that for some important teleost fisheries its relatively low (apparent) population will continue to decline with continuing and/or expanding fisheries.
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Near Threatened (NT)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation measures are currently in place for this species.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of potential interest
  • Coppola, S.R., W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, N. Scialabba and K.E. Carpenter 1994 SPECIESDAB: Global species database for fishery purposes. User's manual. FAO Computerized Information Series (Fisheries). No. 9. Rome, FAO. 103 p. (Ref. 171)
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Wikipedia

Plunket shark

The plunket's shark, Scymnodon plunketi, is a sleeper shark of the family Somniosidae, found around south eastern Australia, and New Zealand, at depths of between 220 and 1,550 m over continental shelves. It reaches a length of 130 cm. [1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ White, W.T., Vaz, D.F.B., Ho, H.-C., Ebert, D.A., Carvalho, M.R.d., Corrigan, S., Rochel, E., Carvalho, M.d., Tanaka, S. & Naylor, G.J.P. (2014): Redescription of Scymnodon ichiharai Yano and Tanaka 1984 (Squaliformes: Somniosidae) from the western North Pacific, with comments on the definition of somniosid genera. Ichthyological Research, Published online: 15 Oct 2014.
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