November 16, 2010 Featured Article Read More →

Report highlights Spurdog stock issues

A Background Document on the Spurdog  Squalus acanthias  has been developed by OSPAR following the inclusion of this species on the OSPAR List of threatened and/or declining species and habitats (OSPAR Agreement 2008-6).

The document provides a compilation of the reviews and assessments that have been prepared concerning this species since the agreement to include it in the OSPAR List in 2008.

The original evaluation used to justify the inclusion of S.acanthias in the OSPAR List is followed by an assessment of the most recent information on its status (distribution, population, condition) and key threats prepared during 2009-2010.

Chapter 6 concludes – This species is seriously depleted by fisheries throughout the OSPAR Maritime Area. Management is now being introduced in line with ICES advice and fishing pressure is falling significantly in several OSPAR Regions. Despite this improved management, the scarcity of large mature females will result in continued poor recruitment for many years and very slow population recovery. S. acanthias is listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as “Critically Endangered” in the North-East Atlantic

Chapter 7 provides recommendations for the actions and measures that could be taken to improve the conservation status of the species.

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