Habitat and Ecology
The Black Ghostshark is found along the continental slope and seamounts off Australia at depths of 870–1,450 m, and has been reported from depths of 500–1,400 m in New Zealand waters (Didier 2008, Walker et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009). There are no specific details on habitat.
There is little information available on the biology of this species. The Black Ghostshark reaches a maximum total length (TL), including the caudal filament, of at least 108 cm and 66 cm body length (BDL), with males maturing at about 55 cm BDL and females around 60 cm BDL (Didier 2008). Like other members of this family, the Black Ghostshark is oviparous (unpublished data reported in Walker et al. 2008) but size-at-birth is unknown. The diet of this species appears to consist primarily of benthic, shelled invertebrates (e.g. crustaceans and molluscs) and teleost fishes (unpublished data reported in Walker et al. 2008).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hydrolagus homonycteris
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 16
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The Black Ghostshark is not commercially targeted, however the major threat to this species is as bycatch in benthic deepwater trawls in both Australian and New Zealand waters. It was once commonly caught as bycatch in trawl fisheries targeting Orange Roughy off Tasmania (Last and Stevens 2009), most probably in the South Tasman Rise Fishery (STRF). This species has also been reported as (rare) bycatch from the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) (Walker et al. 2008). The current closure of the STRF, and SESSF restrictions on trawling below 750 m (Wilson et al. 2010) provide some deepwater refuge for the Black Ghostshark.
Information regarding New Zealand fisheries bycatch is scarce, but the Black Ghostshark has been recorded from deepwater commercial fishing grounds at locations such as the Chatham Rise and Lord Howe Rise (Didier 2008).
No conservation actions are currently in place for this species and information regarding the biology of the Black Ghostshark is urgently required. There is no regular monitoring of bycatch in commercial fisheries and so catch and trend information, which is vital to inform management, are lacking. It is recommended that this species be monitored with regard to deepwater fisheries that might target this species for human consumption in the future. Restrictions on trawling below 750 m in the SESSF and the closure of the STRF has in effect provided a deepwater refuge for this species.