Catsharks

We urgently need catch limits for catsharks and other No Limits? sharks –  sign the petition

Often overlooked in favour of larger, more glamorous sharks, the Smallspotted Catshark and Nursehound are bottom-dwelling, oviparous (egglaying) catsharks, which are also referred to as dogfish.

Dogfish R Sharks 2 Poster (pdf)


 

No catch limits for catsharks © Paul Naylor.

No catch limits for catsharks © Paul Naylor.

Smallspotted Catshark

Scientific name: Scyliorhinus canicula

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

Conservation status: Relatively abundant species.

Commercial importance: If landed, it may be used for human consumption, pot bait or fishmeal.

General information: Reaching a maximum size of 80cm, the Smallspotted Catshark is found from the intertidal to depths of over 100m, where it preys primarily on crustaceans and molluscs. This species is known to aggregate by size and sex; depending on water temperature, eggs laid by the female can incubate for up to 11 months. Smallspotted Catsharks are fished by bottom trawls, fixed bottom nets and pelagic (open water) trawls. While populations appear to be stable, careful management and monitoring is important in ensuring sustainability of fisheries.

Download Smallspotted Catshark ID Guide (pdf)


 

No catch limits for Nursehounds © Lauren Smith.

No catch limits for Nursehounds © Lauren Smith.

Nursehound

Scientific name: Scyliorhinus stellaris

IUCN Red List status: Near Threatened

Conservation status: Although species can be locally abundant, patchy distribution and a relatively low reproductive rate may make it vulnerable to over-exploitation.

Commercial importance: Targeted in the Mediterranean for human consumption.

General information: Commonly reaching 130cm in total length, Nursehounds are most common from the intertidal down to 60m depth. This species has a preference for rough ground and areas with good algal cover, preying on crustaceans, cephalopods (e.g. squid), molluscs and fish. Nursehounds are fished by bottom trawls, fixed bottom nets and pelagic (open water) trawls. No accurate population data is available for Nursehound in the Northeast Atlantic, though evidence suggests the population may be fragmented and at risk from localised depletions.

Download Nursehound ID Guide (pdf)


 

We urgently need catch limits for:

Why Are Limits Needed?

No Limits?

No Future!

In 2012 over 280,000t* of
sharks were reported landed
globally. The actual total
catch is likely to be 3 to 4
times higher
. EU vessels are
responsible for just over
40% of the reported
landings.

*roughly equivalent to 21,000 double decker buses.

Reported EU Landings

Atlantic & Med | To the nearest 100 Tonnes
Rollover sharks for numbers | 2000 - 2012

* conservative estimate of number of individual sharks based on reported landings

Over 97%

Of sharks caught and landed from the
Atlantic and Med are No Limits? species (2012)
(>6,400,000 sharks - conservative estimate based on reported landings)

92% Blue Shark

Percentage of reported Blue Shark landings from the Atlantic attributed to the EU fleet (2012)

(> 89% attributed to Spain)

A typical pelagic longliner sets:
3000 hooks, on 200 longlines, up to 60 miles long

Longline Fishing Boats

The largest EU shark fisheries are fished by pelagic longliners targeting tuna and swordfish.

Over
88%

of longline catches can be sharks.
In coastal waters trawlers and gillnets
also catch sharks in substantial
numbers

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Sign the petition and support the Shark Trust's call for an end to uncontrolled shark fishing. No Limits? No Future.

SIGN PETITION
15%
57%
15%
8%
2%
0.5%
1%
0.5%
15% 57% 15% 8% 2% 1% 1% 1%

Atlantic
Shark Landings

121,370
124,140
98,894
97,751
96,776
86,932
91,998
97,073
99,876
105,858
123,576
138,739
139,736
84,709
88,149
67,871
66,871
67,518
57,332
56,549
61,300
64,254
72,285
90,152
102,502
105,527
37,432
32,473
28,345
30,416
31,534
31,938
35,853
41,393
46,698
52,801
71,746
87,694
91,329