We urgently need catch limits for smoothhounds and other No Limits? sharks – sign the petition
Smoothhounds tend to be found on or near the bottom, from the intertidal zone to at least 100m, where they have a preference for sand and gravel substrates. Reaching up to 140cm, Smoothhounds are important predators in coastal waters, targeting crustaceans, cephalopods and fish.
Scientific name: Mustelus asterias
IUCN Red List status: Least Concern
Conservation status: Increasingly targeted or retained as other stocks decline.
General information: Starry Smoothhound are important predators in coastal waters, targeting crustaceans, cephalopods (e.g. squid) and fish. Remarkably little is known of Starry Smoothhound biology with gestation periods of 12 months recorded, followed by litters of 7-15 pups. Vulnerable to capture in a wide range of fishing gear, smoothhound landings have increased significantly over the last decade, however catch data for Starry Smoothhound is often combined with all Mustelus species and ‘hounds’. Species-specific data and careful monitoring is essential to ensure the sustainability of fisheries.
Scientific name: Mustelus mustelus
Red List status: Vulnerable
Conservation Status: Common Smoothhound are a widespread, but not abundant, species. Although currently under little pressure in the Atlantic, catch trends in the Mediterranean should be monitored carefully to determine if Common Smoothhounds are being overexploited in this region.
Commercial Importance: Targeted throughout the Mediterranean as the flesh is valued in southern Europe, also taken as bycatch in mixed species trawls, longline fisheries and occasionally by pelagic fishers using trawls and driftnets.
We urgently need catch limits for: