IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Both coastal and pelagic waters of the Mediterranean Sea have been intensively exploited for many decades. Catches of this species have declined significantly along the Levantine coasts. Sandbar Sharks were previously regularly seen on fish markets of southern Sicily but have not been observed on the same markets in recent years. While the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia, and an area off Turkey appear to be important nursery grounds for this species, recent records of the species in the Mediterranean outside these areas appear to be rare and there are no recent records of gravid females outside these areas. Given that this region is subject to high levels of continuing fishing pressure, the high biological vulnerability of this species, evidence for declines in the Mediterranean and declines inferred from other areas where it is heavily fished, C. plumbeus is assessed as Endangered in the Mediterranean Sea, which unlike the US and Australian stocks is not subject to management.
This species is taken as both a target and bycatch of coastal and pelagic fisheries in this region. Off southern Brazil, intensive fishing by pair trawl, gillnet and beach seine on pupping and nursery grounds is thought to have caused excessively high juvenile mortality. Fishing with these gears has been intense in this species? habitat during the last 20 years. Records of typical beach seine catches in the early 1980s indicate that 20 individuals could be taken in a single haul. Conversely, no catches of the species were observed during shore fishery monitoring in summer 2003, but neonates of C. plumbeus were common during monitoring of a coastal fishing at depths of 18?60 m between Tramandaí and Saint Simão in summer 2005. Adults of this species are also caught by domestic and international pelagic fisheries operating off the Atlantic coast of South America. This species is taken, along with other Carcharhinids in these fisheries. Tuna and swordfish longline fisheries now also target sharks due to increasing demand for shark products and the value of their fins.
Sandbar Shark is taken in recreational and commercial fisheries along the south Atlantic coast of the USA and in the Gulf of Mexico, which have expanded rapidly during the last >20 years. Sandbar shark stocks were reduced by 85?90% in just 10 years because of over-exploitation and only continued to support a fishery because of the very large size of the original stock. Adult females became very uncommon and the average size of individuals has declined by ~70% of the average size in 1975. Although management was introduced in 1993 and the biomass of the species was reported to have increased by 2002, a recent assessment estimated that the stock is still only 35?47% of virgin biomass and 26?43% of virgin mature abundance in numbers. Newly available analyses of survey data also estimate significant declines (of between 84% and 97% over time periods of 13?41 years). Sandbar Shark is listed as a prohibited species on the US Fishery Management plan for Atlantic sharks. All this considered, the Night Shark is assessed as Vulnerable globally based on significant population declines throughout its northwest and western central Atlantic range due to target and bycatch exploitation by fisheries, which although now managed in US waters, is not the case elsewhere in the region.
Sandbar Sharks are an important component of the Western Australian shark fishery. Current total biomass is probably at about 35% of its level prior to the start of full-time northern shark fishing. Current management arrangements in the fishery should arrest any further declines in stock biomass, but continued monitoring and assessment will be essential to monitor the stock, and the effectiveness of these measures. All this considered, the species is assessed as Near Threatened throughout Australian waters, close to meeting the criteria for Vulnerable A1bd. Continued monitoring and regular reassessment is recommended.
The species is common and not fished in Hawaiian waters, where the population is presumed stable and therefore assessed as Least Concern.
This species is a known catch of longline, trawl and set net fisheries, likely operating throughout large areas of its range in this region. Japanese catch data on sandbar sharks are limited, but reported landings in Japan?s coastal ports show a sharp decline since 1992, from 126 mt per annum at that time, to 91 mt in 1995, 21 mt in 2000 and 3 mt in 2004. No CPUE data are available, however catches and the average size of individuals off Taiwan, Province of China, have also declined. Given this, the species? limiting life-history characteristics, the declining trends estimated elsewhere and continuing, unregulated fishing pressure in this region, an assessment of at least Near Threatened is considered appropriate. Further research on the species? status in this region is required due to concern that it may meet the criteria for Vulnerable A2d.
- 2000Lower Risk/near threatened
- 1996Vulnerable(Baillie and Groombridge 1996)