Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The Northern Spiny Dogfish is distributed on the New Zealand continental shelf north of the Subtropical Front, including Chatham Rise and Challenger Plateau. Also occurs north of New Zealand on Wanganella Bank and Norfolk Ridge (to at least Norfolk Island), Kermadec Ridge (to at least Raoul Island, 29S) and the Louisville Ridge.
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Southwest Pacific: New Zealand.
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Southwestern Pacific.
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Physical Description

Size

Max. size

89.9 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 58444)); 110 cm TL (female)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

The Northern Spiny Dogfish is common on the outer shelf and upper slope, occurring close to the bottom over reefs and soft sediments from 15 m to at least 700 m depth; generally most abundant at 50 to 300 m depth. Nominal records from greater than 700 m depth require confirmation as below 400 m depth this species distribution overlaps that of a larger, undescribed species.

Females reach at least 110 cm total length (TL) and males at least 89.8 cm TL. Males mature between 6976 cm TL; smallest pregnant female 86.5 cm TL, largest immature female 90 cm TL. Size at birth about 27 cm TL. Litter size 611, usually 78. Gestation period unknown. Age and growth unknown. Life history traits are likely to be similar to those of other mitsukurii-group dogfishes (Taniuchi and Tachikawa 1999, Obara et al. 2008).

Diet includes demersal fishes, cephalopods and decapod crustaceans.


Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 37 - 950 m (Ref. 26346), usually 100 - 500 m (Ref. 89422)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Squalus griffini

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 15
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2011

Assessor/s
Duffy, C.A.J.

Reviewer/s
Ebert, D.A. & Kyne, P.M.

Contributor/s

Justification
The Northern Spiny Dogfish (Squalus griffini) was previously assessed as Near Threatened, coming near to (if not actually) meeting Vulnerable Criterion A2 and possibly A3+A4, as the New Zealand subpopulation of Squalus mitsukurii. The species relatively restricted, disjunct distribution, the assumption that it was fished throughout its range and the absence of management measures were given as reasons why it met the Criteria. Taxonomic revision of Australasian Squalus has since clarified the status and distribution of the Northern Spiny Dogfish, showing it to be widely distributed around North and South Islands of New Zealand, as well as on the seamounts and ridges north of New Zealand. Large parts of this distribution are not fished or are subject to only light fishing pressure; and although dogfishes of the S. mitsukurii species complex are particularly vulnerable to overfishing, the Northern Spiny Dogfish remains a widespread and relatively common species. There are no directed fisheries for this species and reported commercial catch and landings are small. No range contraction has been observed and unstandardised CPUE in the fishery reporting most of the catch has remained stable for at least 17 years (generation time likely to be 14 years). Research trawl surveys off the west coast of South Island show no trends in relative biomass. Although the Northern Spiny Dogfish is assessed here as Least Concern, experience with related species elsewhere indicates that it is unlikely this taxon could support a large directed fishery. If such a fishery were to develop this taxon could rapidly qualify for a higher category. Further information and the investigation of commercial landings and catch is warranted to determine the significance of non- and misreporting on the accuracy of catch-effort data for this species.
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Population

Population

The Chatham Islands population of the Northern Spiny Dogfish appears to be isolated, as may be some populations occurring on ridges and seamounts but population structure in this species is unstudied.

Un-standardised annual catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) in the main commercial set net fisheries is stable, whereas bottom longline CPUE in the same areas suggests local depletion may be occurring. Large parts of the species distribution are unfished or only lightly commercially fished. Research trawl surveys off the west coast of South Island show no trends in relative biomass (Cavanagh and Lisney 2003).


Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats

Dogfishes of the Squalus mitsukurii species complex have proved to be particularly vulnerable to overfishing (Wilson and Seki 1994, Cavanagh and Lisney 2003). Catch-effort data for the fishing years 1992/93 (first year of reliable data) to 2008/09 indicate 97% of the commercial catch of Northern Spiny Dogfish is taken by set net (59%), bottom longline (33%) and bottom trawl (5%). Directed fishing for this species accounts for only 4.6% of the total estimated commercial catch recorded on Catch Effort Landing Return (CELR) forms since 1989/90, and no directed take has been reported since the end of the 1998/99 fishing year.

Unstandardised annual CPUE in the main set net (SN) fisheries shows no trend from 1992/93 to 2008/09, although a 68% decline in bottom longline (BLL) CPUE since 2000/01 in the same areas suggests local depletion (probably on deepwater reef habitats) may be occurring.

Most (68%) of the estimated commercial SN and BLL catch reported on CELR forms comes from the west coast of the North Island and northwest South Island (Statistical Areas 036, 037, 040, 041, 042), suggesting this species does not form a major component of the catch elsewhere within its range. The extent of non-reporting and discarding is unknown. The proportion of the catch misreported as Spiny Dogfish (S. acanthias) is unknown.

No bottom trawling, set netting or bottom longlining occurs on the Kermadec and Colville Ridges. Trawling on other ridges and seamounts located north of North Island New Zealand is predominantly conducted in mid-water for Orange Roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) and generally occurs below the preferred depth range of this species.

Catch-effort data were provided by the Data Management Group, NZ Ministry of Fisheries Rep. Log 7957, 7983A.

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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No commercial catch limits have been set for the Northern Spiny Dogfish.
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