Smoothhounds


 

No catch limits for smoothhounds © Peter Verhoog, Dutch Shark Society.

No catch limits for smoothhounds © Peter Verhoog, Dutch Shark Society.

Starry Smoothhound, Mustelus asterias

Red List status: Least Concern

Conservation status: Increasingly targeted or retained as other stocks decline.

Commercial importance: Flesh valuable in the Mediterranean, taken as bycatch in gill net, bottom trawl and line-gear fisheries.

Management: Regional management is required in European and Mediterranean coastal waters.

Habitat and ecology: Starry Smoothhound are important predators in coastal waters, targeting crustaceans, cephalopods (e.g. squid) and fish.

General information: Gestation period of 12 months has been 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.



Common Smoothhound
, 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.

Management: Regional management is required in European and Mediterranean coastal waters.

Habitat and ecology: Commercial Importance: Targeted throughout the Mediterranean as the meat is valued in southern Europe, also taken as bycatch in mixed species trawls, longline fisheries and occasionally by pelagic fishers using trawls and driftnets.

General information: Starry Smoothhounds, as the name suggests, have ‘stars’ (or spots) along the flanks, however they can also have no patternation (as with the Common Smoothhound). Recent genetic studies found that smoothhounds in the Northeast Atlantic are all actually likely to be Starry Smoothhounds.

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