Rhinobatos rhinobatos

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — All applicable methods
Capture area — Mediterranean (FAO 37) and Eastern Atlantic (FAO 34)
Stock area — All Areas
Stock detail — All Areas
Picture of Guitarfish

Sustainability rating five info

Sustainability overview

Guitarfish are listed by IUCN as Endangered. Its biology and inshore habitat make it highly susceptible to population depletion. Because of this, they are automatically a red-rated species.


Guitarfish tails look like those of a typical shark but their head is often triangular or a guitar-like shape. Guitarfish inhabit sandy and muddy bottoms, from the intertidal zone to about 100 m. Sometimes near rocky reefs. They are usually seen slow swimming over bottom or partially buried. It feeds on benthic invertebrates and fishes. Guitarfish are ovoviviparous, one or two litters per year with 4-10 embryos. The age at maturity is not known for either sex, nor the longevity of this species.

Stock information

Criterion score: Default red rating info

Guitarfish are listed by IUCN as Endangered (2016) due to widespread and unregulated fishing throughout it’s range. Guitarfish populations are expected to be declining and are possibly extinct in Balearic isles. Their biology and inshore habitat make it highly susceptible to population depletion.

Due to very low populations, Guitarfish are automatically red-rated.


There are a lack of management measures for Guitarfish, however, in October 2017, the Mediterranean population of the Common Guitarfish were listed as an Appendix I species under the Bonn Convention. Appendix I is the highest level of protection (and has been provided to other species such as the Whale Shark). Common Guitarfish cannot be caught and retained. The IUCN has recommended that the Mediterranean needs to designate and research critical coral reef habitat for Guitarfish (particularly when impacted by trawling), monitor Guitarfish catches and record any landings for the species.

Capture Information

Guitarfish populations undergo high exploitation rates. They are an easy target for artisanal fisheries and are likely taken as bycatch in commercial fisheries of all kinds including prawn and bottom trawl fisheries.


Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Halibut, Atlantic (Farmed)
Sole, Dover sole, Common sole
Turbot (Farmed)


Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Bradai, M.N., Morey, G., Marshall, A.D., Compagno, L.J.V., Mouni, A., Hicham, M., Bucal, D., Dulvy, N., Heenan, A. & Rui Coelho. 2007. Rhinobatos rhinobatos. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T63131A12620901.

CMS. 2017. Urgent Protection Proposed for Some of the World's Most Known Species. Available at: