Angular Roughshark - Oxynotus centrina

Status: Vulnerable … The adult female gives birth to 10-12 tiny little baby sharks

Type: Fish

Location: Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean - found from South Africa to Norway.

Size: Usually between 50-100cm, but has been recorded reaching 150cm in length.

Habitat: In coralline and muddy habitats on the continental and upper slope between 100m and 600m in depth.

Main Threats:
Little is known about this rare shark species. Its IUCN status is vulnerable, with bycatch in commercial fishing considered a significant threat. It has been reported that fishermen in the Mediterranean believe roughsharks to be bad luck and discard them immediately on capture. There is little fisheries data on the species, so it’s not known how many are caught as bycatch and then discarded out at sea. If not discarded, the angular roughshark is used for fishmeal, for its oil, or is smoked and dried for human consumption.

With improvements in the efficiency of bottom trawling in the Mediterranean Sea over the last 50 years, the angular roughshark has now become extremely rare there. There is little information available about the abundance of angular roughshark in the northeast Atlantic, but as deepwater fisheries have expanded in range and intensity, it is possible that the species has declined in this region too.

The angular roughshark is aptly named for its pointed head and fins, and the rough teeth-like scales which cover its body. It has a broad, flattened head, a short, blunt nose and two tall dorsal fins, which look a little like sails. The angular roughshark eats worms, crustaceans and molluscs, which it feeds on by using a suction technique.

Whether you think they’re cute as a button or hideously ugly - they deserve protection!

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