Abundances of Sharks and Chimaera in the Central Mediterranean Sea

paperPublished on 23. September 2013

Abundances of Demersal Sharks and Chimaera from 1994-2009 Scientific Surveys in the Central Mediterranean Sea

Sergio Ragonese, Sergio Vitale, Mark Dimech, Salvatore Mazzola


Bibliographic and data gathered in scientific bottom trawl surveys carried out off the Southern Coasts of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea), from 1994 to 2009 and between a depth of 10 and 800 m, were analysed in order to prepare a checklist of demersal sharks and chimaera, which are species sensitive to fisheries exploitation. Out of the 27 previously reported demersal shark and chimaera taxa in the Mediterranean, only 23 were found in literature and 20 sampled during the surveys in the investigated area. Among the species sampled in the surveys, only 2 ubiquitous (Squalus blainville and Scyliorhinus canicula) and 3 deep-water (Chimaera monstrosa, Centrophorus granulosus and Galeus melastomus) species showed a wide geographical distribution with a consistent abundance. Excluding the rare (such as Oxynotus centrina) or uncommon shark (e.g. Squalus acanthias), the estimated frequencies of occurrence and abundance indexes show a possible risk of local extinction for the almost exclusively (e.g. angelshark, Squatina spp.) or preferential (e.g. Scyliorhinus stellaris) neritic species.

PLoS ONE 8(9): e74865. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074865



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