NEWSLETTER 09/2011 19. September 2011

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15th EEA Conference 28-30. October in Berlin, Germany

The German Elasmobranch Society (Deutsche Elasmobranchier-Gesellschaft e.V., D.E.G.)
has the pleasure to invite you to the 15th EEA Annual Scientific Conference in Berlin, Germany.

The conference will take place at the Natural History Museum of Berlin
from 28 - 30 October 2011.

Museum für Naturkunde
Invalidenstraße 43
10115 Berlin


SVP 71st Annual Meeting
November 2-5, 2011
Paris Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV USA


More Meetings, source: IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group (SSG):

SEPT 26-30: World Conference on Marine Biodiversity - Aberdeen, UK
SEPT 26-Oct 1: ICCAT SCRS Species Groups Meetings
OCT 1-6: World Seafood Conference; Seafood + Trade = Health + Jobs – Washington,
OCT 3-7: Meeting of ICCAT’s Standing Committee on Research and Statistics
OCT 24-28: World Climate Research Program Open Science Conference – Denver, CO
OCT 24-NOV 4: 30th Annual Meeting of CCAMLR; 30th Annual Meeting of CCAMLR’s
Scientific Committee
NOV 8-9, 11-16: UNGA Annual Fisheries Resolution Negotiations
NOV 9-19: 22nd Regular Meeting of ICCAT – Istanbul, Turkey
NOV 10-20 (TBC): ICCAT 18th Special meeting of the Commission - Madrid, Spain
NOV 28 - DEC 2: 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology -
Christchurch, New Zealand
JUL 9-13 2012: International Coral Reef Symposium "Apex Predators on Coral
Reefs" - Cairns, Australia



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List (pdf) of the papers of the year 2010 for download:

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List (pdf) of the papers of the year 2009 for download (new (updated) Version (08/2011):

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I am looking for some missing papers. Maybe somebody could send me a copy, reprint or pdf (pdf only for my personal use, not to be made available for download) of those.

You will find the list of “missing papers” here: List of missing papers



Type database:

New: Mapping of more than 2.800 types

Map of types

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Palaeontos 20

Reinecke T., Louwye S., Havekost U. & Moths H., 2011, The elasmobranch fauna of the late Burdigalian, Miocene, at Werder-Uesen, Lower Saxony, Germany, and its relationships with Early Miocene faunas in the North Atlantic, Central Paratethys and Mediterranean – ISSN 1377-4654.

170 pages, 40 text-figures, 3 tables, 101 plates

Abstract: The Lower Mica Fine Sand (LMFS) Formation at Werder-Uesen, northwestern Lower Saxony, Germany, yields 40 shark and 12 batoid species, 13 of which are reported in open nomenclature. The recovered elasmobranch remains are mainly isolated teeth, and less commonly gill rakers, caudal spines, thorns, dermal denticles and vertebrae. The fauna is the richest thus far reported from shelf regions of the southern North Sea Basin and also one of the most diverse elasmobranch faunas collected from the Early and Middle Miocene of Europe. The sediments of the LMFS Formation sampled at Werder-Uesen represent the upper levels of the early Hemmoor regional stage („Behrendorf substage“) which corresponds to the middle and late Burdigalian. The dinoflagellate cyst assemblage recovered at Werder-Uesen correlates with the Cousteaudinium aubryae Biozone of Dybkja er & Piasecki (2010) which has a late Burdigalian age. Most shark and ray genera of the Werder-Uesen fauna, e.g. Carcharias, Chaenogaleus, Carcharhinus, Galeocerdo, Hemipristis, Paragaleus, Rhizoprionodon, Sphyrna, Aetobatus, Dasyatis, Rhinobatos, Rhynchobatus, Rostroraja and Taeniura, are closely related with present-day neritic and benthic taxa dwelling in warm-temperate and subtropical shelf seas. In addition, a small but significant elasmobranch assemblage indicative of pelagic, oceanic habitats (9 species of Isurus, Alopias, Megachasma, Prionace, Megascyliorhinus, Plinthicus) is present, whereas taxa living in present-day deepwaters of the oceans and continental slopes (Hexanchus, Echinorhinus, Iago) are very rarely encountered. 25 shark and 8 batoid taxa of the Werder-Uesen fauna entered the Miocene North Sea Basin for the first time. The prominent increase in species richness, which is known also for other groups of vertebrates and invertebrates in the early Hemmoor regional stage, likely results from the middle to late Burdigalian warming that passed into the Mid-Miocene climate optimum. The common presence of some species of Isurus and Alopias in the LMFS Formation, compared with their uncommonness or absence in

Aquitanian to early Burdigalian sediments of the same region, supports the hypothesis, that a permanent marine connection became established in middle Burdigalian times between the southern North Sea and the warm-temperate eastern Atlantic. Interregional comparison shows a marked correspondence of shelf-related neritic and benthic taxa in boreal (North Sea), Mediterranean and central Paratethyan realms during the middle/late Burdigalian. This likely resulted from the shift and enlargement of warm-temperate/subtropical climate areas to northern latitudes which established similar thermophilic faunal assemblages by dispersion into the North Sea Basin via the eastern Atlantic. However, the lack of the present-day tropical/subtropical genera Ginglymostoma, Isogomphodon, Negaprion, Pseudocarcharias, Pteromylaeus, Rhinoptera and Pristis in the North Sea Basin and their partial presence in the Mediterranean Tethys and Central Paratethys indicates a faunal differentiation in the European Burdigalian which was probably governed by climatic factors.






CLAESON, K.M. & HILGER, A. (2011) Morphology of the anterior vertebral region in elasmobranchs: special focus, Squatiniformes. Fossil Record, 14 (2): 129-140

TOMITA, T. (2011) Mouth-Size Estimation of a Primitive Lamniform Shark, Protolamna: Low Trophic Position in Lamniform Shark Origin. Paleontological Research, 15 (2): 68-76

TREUDE, T. & KIEL, S. & LINKE, P. & PECKMANN, J. & GOEDERT, J.L. (2011) Elasmobranch egg capsules associated with modern and ancient cold seeps: a nursery for marine deep-water predators. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 437: 175-181

FISCHER, J. & VOIGT, S. & SCHNEIDER, J.W. & BUCHWITZ, M. & VOIGT,S. (2011) A selachian freshwater fauna from the Triassic of Kyrgyzstan and its implication for Mesozoic shark nurseries. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31 (5): 937-953

REINECKE, T. & LOUWYE, S. & HAVEKOST, U. & MOTHS, H. (2011) The elasmobranch fauna of the late Burdigalian, Miocene, at Werder-Uesen, Lower Saxony, Germany, and its relationships with Early Miocene faunas in the North Atlantic, Central Paratethys and Mediterranean. Palaeontos, 20: 1-170, 40 text-figures, 3 tables, 101 plates


ALARCÓN, C. & CUBILLOS, L.A. & ACUÑA, E. (2011) Length-based growth, maturity and natural mortality of the cockfish Callorhinchus callorhynchus (Linnaeus, 1758) off Coquimbo, Chile. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 92 (1): 65-78

BABU, C. & RAMACHANDRAN, S. & VARGHESE, B.C. (2011) New record of sixgill sting ray Hexatrygon bickelli Heemstra and Smith, 1980 from south-west coast of India. Indian Journal of Fisheries, 58 (2): 137-139

BACHA, A.B. & KARRAY, A. & DAOUD, L. & BOUCHAALA, E. & ALI, M.B. & GARGOURI, Y. & ALI, Y.B. (2011) Biochemical properties of pancreatic colipase from the common stingray Dasyatis pastinaca. Lipids in Health and Disease, 10: 69, 1-7

BLANCO-PARRA, M.P. & NIÑO-TORRES, C.A. (2011) Morphological abnormality in a diamond stingray, Dasyatis dipterura (Jordan & Gilbert, 1880) (Chondrichthyes: Dasyatidae), from the Gulf of California, Mexico Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 52 (3): 357-360

BORNATOWSKI, H. & SIMÕES VITULE, J.R. & ABILHOA, V. & MAIA CORRÊA, M.F. (2011) Unconventional fishing for large sharks in the State of Parana, southern Brazil: a note of concern. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 27 (4): 1108-1111

CANESE, S. & CARDINALI, A. & ROMEO, T. & GIUSTI, M. & SALVATI, E. & ANGIOLILLO, M. & GRECO, S. (2011) Diving behavior of the giant devil ray in the Mediterranean Sea. Endangered Species Research, 14 (2): 171-176

CASTRO, J. (2011) The sharks of North America. Oxford University Press, 2011, ISBN: 0-19-539294-9

CLAESON, K.M. (2011) The synarcual cartilage of batoids with emphasis on the synarcual of Rajidae. Journal of Morphology, in press

CLARKE, S.C. & HARLEY, S. & HOYLE, S. & RICE, J. (2011) An Indicator-based Analysis of Key Shark Species based on Data Held by SPC-OFP. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Doc. Nr. WCPFC-SC7-2011/EB-WP-01

COLLER, N.M. (2011) Biología, ecología y explotación de la raya platana Atlantoraja platana Günther, 1880, (Chondrichthyes, Rajidae), del golfo San Matías. Unpublished PhD thesis, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina

CORTÉS, F. & JAUREGUIZAR, A.J. & GUERRERO, A.R. & DOGLIOTTI, A. (2011) Influence of estuarine and continental shelf water advection on the coastal movements of apron ray Discopyge tschudii in the Southwestern Atlantic. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 27 (5): 1278-1285

CUEVAS-ZIMBRÓN, C. & PÉREZ-JIMÉNEZ, J.C. & MÉNDEZ-LOEZA, I. (2011) Spatial and seasonal variation in a target fishery for spotted eagle ray Aetobatus narinari in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Fisheries Science, 77 (5): 723-730

DALE, J.J. & WALLSGROVE, N.J. & POPP, B.N. & HOLLAND, K.N. (2011) Nursery habitat use and foraging ecology of the brown stingray Dasyatis lata determined from stomach contents, bulk and amino acid stable isotopes. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 433: 221-236

DE CARVALHO, M.R. & RAGNO, M.P. (2011) An unusual, dwarf new species of Neotropical freshwater stingray, Plesiotrygon nana sp. nov., from the upper and mid Amazon basin: the second species of Plesiotrygon (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae). Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 51 (7): 101-138

DESSIMOZ, C. & ZOLLER, S. & MANOUSAKI, T. & QIU, H. & MEYER, A. & KURAKU, S. (2011) Comparative genomics approach to detecting split-coding regions in a low-coverage genome: lessons from the chimaera Callorhinchus milii (Holocephali, Chondrichthyes). Briefings in Bioinformatics, in press

DI DARIO, F. & PETRY, A.C. & MINCARONE, M.M. & PEREIRA, M.M.S. & DOS SANTOS, R.M. (2011) New records of coastal fishes in the northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, with comments on the biogeography of the south-western Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology, 79 (2): 546-555

DOMINGOS, M.O. & FRANZOLIN, M.R. & TAVARES DOS ANJOS, M. & FRANZOLIN, T.M.P. & ALBES, R.C.B. & RIBEIRO DE ANDRADE, G. & LOPES, R.J.L. (2011) The influence of environmental bacteria in freshwater stingray wound-healing. Toxicon, 58 (2): 147-153

DRYMON, J.M. & POWERS, S.P. & CARMICHAEL, R.H. (2011) Trophic plasticity in the Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) from the north central Gulf of Mexico. Environmental Biology of Fishes, in press

ERISMAN, B.E. & GALLAND, G.R. & MASCAREÑAS, I. & MOXLEY, J. & WALKER, H.J. & ABURTO-OROPEZA, O. & HASTINGS, P.A. & EZCURRA, E. (2011) List of coastal fishes of Islas Marias archipelago, Mexico, with comments on taxonomic composition, biogeography, and abundance. Zootaxa, 2985: 26-40

ERYILMAZ, L. & YEMI?KEN, E. & DALYAN, C. (2011) The First Documented Record of Genus Mustelus (Chondrichthyes: Triakidae) in the Black Sea. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 11 (1): 159-162

ESTALLES, M. & COLLER, N.M. & PERIER, M.R. & DI GIÁCOMO, E.E. (2011) Skates in the demersal trawl fishery of San Matías Gulf: species composition, relative abundance and maturity stages. Aquatic Living Resources, 24 (2): 193-199

FLORES-ORTEGA, J.R. & GODÍNEZ-DOMÍNGUEZ, E. & GONZÁLEZ-SANSÓN, G. & ROJO-VÁZQUEZ, J.A. & CORGOS, A. & MORALES-JÁUREGUI, M.Y. (2011) Feeding habits of three round stingrays (Rajiformes: Urotrygonidae) in the central Mexican Pacific. Ciencias Marinas, 37 (3): 279-292

FONSECA, G. & HUTCHINGS, P. & CANDIDO VIEIRA, D. & GALLUCCI, F. (2011) Meiobenthic community underneath the carcass of a stingray: a snapshot after natural death. Aquatic Biology, 13: 27-33

GALLAGHER, A.J. & HAMMERSCHLAG, N. (2011) Global Shark Currency: The Distribution, Frequency and Economic Value of Shark Eco-tourism. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-16

GÜVEN, O. & KEBAPÇIO?LU, T. & DEVAL, M.C. (2011) Length-weight relationships of sharks in Antalya Bay, eastern Mediterranean. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, in press

HAMMERSCHLAG, N. & SULIKOWSKI, J. (2011) Killing for conservation: the need for alternatives to lethal sampling of apex predatory sharks. Endangered Species Research, 14 (2): 135-140

HAYLEY, M. & CHEVALDINA, T. & HEELEY, D.H. (2011) Cold Adaptation of Tropomyosin. Biochemistry, 50 (30): 6559-6566

HEUPEL, M.R. & SIMPFENDORFER, C.A. (2011) Estuarine nursery areas provide a low-mortality environment for young bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 433: 237-244

IWATSUKI, Y. & MIYAMOTO, K. & NAKAYA, K. & ZHANG, J. (2011) A review of the genus Platyrhina (Chondrichthys: Platyrhinidae) from the northwestern Pacific, with descriptions of two new species. Zootaxa, 2738: 26-40

JACOBY, D.M.P. & CROFT, D.P. & SIMS, D.W. (2011) Social behaviour in sharks and rays: analysis, patterns and implications for conservation. Fish and Fisheries, in press

KABASAKAL, H. & DE MADDALENA, A. (2011) A huge shortfin mako shark Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque, 1810 (Chondrichthyes: Lamnidae) from the waters of Marmaris, Turkey. Annales, Series Historia Naturalis, 21 (1): 21-24

KOUSTENI, V. & MEGALOFONOU, P. (2011) Reproductive biology and embryonic development of Squalus blainvillei in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Scientia Marina, 75 (2): 237-249

KUMAR, K.R. & VENNILA, R. & KANCHANA, S. & ARUMUGAM, M. & BALASUBRAMANIAM, T. (2011) Fibrinogenolytic and anticoagulant activities in the tissue covering the stingers of marine stingrays Dasyatis sephen and Aetobatis narinari. Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis, 31 (4): 464-471

KURAKU, S. (2011) Hox Gene Clusters of Early Vertebrates: Do They Serve as Reliable Markers for Genome Evolution? Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics, 9 (3): 97-103

LAST, P.R. & GAUDIANO, J.P. (2011) Gollum suluensis sp. nov. (Carcharhiniformes: Pseudotriakidae), a new gollumshark from the southern Philippines. Zootaxa, 3002: 17-30

LIPEJ, L. & MAVRIC, B. & ZIZA, V. & CAPAPÉ, C. (2011) First cases of albinism recorded in the marble electric ray Torpedo marmorata (Chondrichthyes: Torpedinidae). Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 52 (3): 262-267

LITTLE, L.R. & WAYTE, S.E. & TUCK, G.N. & SMITH, A.D.M. & KLAER, N. & HADDON, M. & PUNT, A.E. & THOMSON, R. & DAY, J. & FULLER, M. (2011) Development and evaluation of a cpue-based harvest control rule for the southern and eastern scalefish and shark fishery of Australia . ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68 (8): 1699-1705

MARIGO, A.M. & EIRA, C. & BÂ, C.T. & MIQUEL, J. (2011) Spermatological characters of Acanthobothrium crassicolle Wedl, 1855 (Tetraphyllidea, Onchobothriidae), a parasite of the common stingray Dasyatis pastinaca. Acta Parasitologica, 56 (2): 191-201

MÁRQUEZ-FARÍAS, J.F. (2011) Assessment of the impact of gillnets on the population structure of the shovelnose guitarfish Rhinobatos productus from the Gulf of California, Mexico Ciencias Marinas, 37 (3): 293-304

MAYNOU, F. & SBRANA, M. & SARTOR, P. & MARAVELIAS, C. & KAVADAS, S. & DAMALAS, D. & CARTES, J.E. & OSIO, G. (2011) Estimating Trends of Population Decline in Long-Lived Marine Species in the Mediterranean Sea Based on Fishers' Perceptions. PLoS ONE, 6 (7): e21818

MCCLUSKY, L.M. (2011) Testicular Degeneration during Spermatogenesis in the Blue Shark, Prionace glauca: Nonconformity with Expression as Seen in the Diametric Testes of Other Carcharhinids. Journal of Morphology, 272 (8): 938-948

MEJÍA-FALLA, P.A. & NAVIA, A.F. (2011) Relationship between body size and geographic range size of elasmobranchs from the Tropical Eastern Pacific: An initial approximation for their conservation. Ciencias Marinas, 37 (3): 305-321

MOURATO, B.L. & ARFELLI, C.A. & AMORIM, A.F. & HAZIN, H.G. & CARVALHO, F.C. & HAZIN, F.H.V. (2011) Spatio-temporal distribution and target species in a longline fishery off the southeastern coast of Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Oceanography, 59 (2): 185-194

NORIEGA, R. & WERRY, J.M. & SUMPTON, W. & MAYER, D. & LEE, S.Y. (2011) Trends in annual CPUE and evidence of sex and size segregation of Sphyrna lewini: Management implications in coastal waters of northeastern Australia. Fisheries Research, 110 (3): 472-477

OULION, S. & BORDAY-BIRRAUX, V. & DEBIAIS-THIBAUD, M. & MAZAN, S. & LAURENTI, P. AND CASANE, D. (2011) Evolution of repeated structures along the body axis of jawed vertebrates, insights from the Scyliorhinus canicula Hox code. Evolution & Development, 13 (3): 247-259

PETTITT-WADE, H. & NEWMAN, S.P. & PARSONS, K.T. & GRUBER, S.H. & HANDY, R.D. (2011) Dietary metal and macro-nutrient intakes of juvenile lemon sharks determined from the nutritional composition of prey items. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 433: 245-260

POULAKIS, G.R. & STEVENS, P.W. & TIMMERS, A.A. & WILEY, T.R. & SIMPFENDORFER, C.A. (2011) Abiotic affinities and spatiotemporal distribution of the endangered smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, in a south-western Florida nursery. Marine and Freshwater Research, in press

REEVE, A.J. & KAYOUECHE-REEVE, M. & AL-MAMARI, T. & AL-SHUAILY, S. & HENDERSON, A.C. (2011) A field guide to the elasmobranchs of south-east Arabia. Part I: Sharks. Shark Project Oman,

REEVE, A.J. & KAYOUECHE-REEVE, M. & AL-MAMARI, T. & AL-SHUAILY, S. & HENDERSON, A.C. (2011) A field guide to the elasmobranchs of south-east Arabia. Part II: Guitarfishes and sawfishes, Part III: Rays. Shark Project Oman,

REILLY, B.D. & CRAMP, R.L. & WILSON, J.M. & CAMPBELL, H.A. & FRANKLIN, C.E. (2011) Branchial osmoregulation in the euryhaline bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas: a molecular analysis of ion transporters. Journal of Experimental Biology, 214 (17): 2883-2895

REYDA, F.B. & MARQUES, F.P.L. (2011) Diversification and Species Boundaries of Rhinebothrium (Cestoda; Rhinebothriidea) in South American Freshwater Stingrays (Batoidea; Potamotrygonidae). PLoS ONE 6 (8): e22604

RODRIGUEZ, N. & PICKERING, M. & CAIRA, J.N. (2011) Echinobothrium joshuai n. sp. (Cestoda: Diphyllidea) from the Roughnose Legskate, Cruriraja hulleyi (Rajiformes: Rajidae), off South Africa. Comparative Parasitology, 78 (2): 306-311

ŠANTI?, M. & PALADIN, A. & AGOVI?, A. (2011) Diet of common stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca (Chondrichthyes: Dasyatidae) in the eastern Adriatic Sea. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 52 (3): 349-356

SCHAEFFNER, B.C. & GASSER, R. B. & BEVERIDGE, I. (2011) Ancipirhynchus afossalis n. g., n. sp (Trypanorhyncha: Otobothriidae), from two species of sharks off Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo. Systematic Parasitology, 80 (1): 1-15

SISNEROS, J.A. & FAY, R.R. (2011) Directional and frequency saccular sensitivity of the little skate, Raja erinacea. Abstract. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129 (4): 2472

STORELLI, M.M. & PERRONE, V.G. & BARONE, G. (2011) Organochlorine residues (PCBs and DDTs) in two Torpedinid species liver from the Southeastern Mediterranean Sea. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 18 (7): 1160-1165

SWIDERSKI, Z. & MACKIEWICZ, J.S. & EIRA, C. & MIQUEL, J. (2011) Ultrastructural and cytochemical study on vitellogenesis in the diphyllidean cestode Echinobothrium euterpes (Echinobothriidae) and its phylogenetical implications. Acta Parasitologica, 56 (2): 180-190

TAZEROUTI, F. & NEIFAR, L. & EUZET, L. (2011) Redescription of Monocotyle myliobatis (Monogenea, Monocotylidae) from the type host Myliobatis aquila (Elasmobranchii, Myliobatidae) off the Algerian coast . Acta Parasitologica, 56 (3): 274-279

THEODOSIOU, N. & SIMEONE, A. (2011) A Colon Homologue in Elasmobranchs? Evidence Abstract. Developmental Biology, 356 (1): 107

TILLETT, B.J. & MEEKAN, M.G. & PARRY, D. & MUNKSGAARD, N. & FIELD, I.C. & THORBURN, D. & BRADSHAW, C.J.A. (2011) Decoding fingerprints: elemental composition of vertebrae correlates to age-related habitat use in two morphologically similar sharks. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 434: 133-142

VAUGHAN, D.B. & CHISHOLM, L.A. (2011) Amendment of Pseudoleptobothrium Young, 1967 (Monogenea, Microbothriidae) with the description of Pseudoleptobothrium christisoni sp. nov. from the dermal denticles of Rhinobatos annulatus (Rhinobatidae) off the southern tip of Africa. Acta Parasitologica, 56 (3): 280-289

WALSH, W.A. & CLARKE, S.C. (2011) Analyses of Catch Data for Oceanic Whitetip and Silky Sharks reported by Fishery Observers in the Hawaii-based Longline Fishery in 1995–2010. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Doc. Nr. WCPFC-SC7-2011/EB-WP-03

WHITE, W.T. & IGLÉSIAS, S.P. (2011) Squalus formosus, a new species of spurdog shark (Squaliformes: Squalidae), from the western North Pacific Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology, in press

WHITTINGTON, D. & KEARN, G.C. (2011) A new species of Dermopristis Kearn, Whittington & Evans-Gowing, 2010 (Monogenea: Microbothriidae), with observations on associations between the gut diverticula and reproductive system and on the presence of denticles in the nasal fossae of the host Glaucostegus typus (Bennett) (Elasmobranchii: Rhinobatidae). Systematic Parasitology, 80 (1): 41-51

WILLIAMS, G.D. & ANDREWS, K.S. & FARRER, D.A. & BARGMANN, G.G. & LEVIN, P.S. (2011) Occurrence and biological characteristics of broadnose sevengill sharks (Notorynchus cepedianus) in Pacific Northwest coastal estuaries. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 91 (4): 379-388

YAMAGUCHI, A. & FURUMITSU, K. & TANAKA, S. & KUME, G. (2011) Dietary habits of the fanray Platyrhina tangi (Batoidea: Platyrhinidae) in Ariake Bay, Japan. Environmental Biology of Fishes, in press

ZACHARIA, P.U. & JOSHI, K.K. & KANDAN, P. (2011) First record of the pelagic stingray Pteroplatytrygon violacea (Boneparte, 1832) (Family: Dasyatidae) from the east coast of India. Indian Journal of Fisheries, 58 (1): 95-98

ZHU, C. & FENG, W. & WEEDON, J. & HUA, P. & STEFANOV, D. & OHTA, Y. & FLAJNIK, M.F. & HSU, E. (2011) The Multiple Shark Ig H Chain Genes Rearrange and Hypermutate Autonomously. Journal of Immunology, 187 (5): 2492-2501





Deep-sea fish in deep trouble

Scientists find nearly all deep-sea fisheries unsustainable, call for stopping unsustainable fisheries and government subsidies that support them


A team of leading marine scientists from around the world is recommending an end to most commercial fishing in the deep sea, the Earth’s largest ecosystem. Instead, they recommend fishing in more productive waters nearer to consumers.

In a comprehensive analysis published online this week in the journal Marine Policy, marine ecologists, fisheries biologists, economists, mathematicians and international policy experts show that, with rare exceptions, deep-sea fisheries are unsustainable. The “Sustainability of deep-sea fisheries” study, funded mainly by the Lenfest Ocean Program, comes just before the UN decides whether to continue allowing deep-sea fishing in international waters, which the UN calls “high seas.”

Life is mostly sparse in the oceans’ cold depths, far from the sunlight that fuels photosynthesis. Food is scarce and life processes happen at a slower pace than near the sea surface. Some deep-sea fishes live more than a century; some deep-sea corals can live more than 4,000 years. When bottom trawlers rip life from the depths, animals adapted to life in deep-sea time can’t repopulate on human time scales. Powerful fishing technologies are overwhelming them.

“The deep sea is the world’s worst place to catch fish” says marine ecologist Dr. Elliott Norse, the study’s lead author and President of the Marine Conservation Institute in Bellevue, Washington USA. “Deep-sea fishes are especially vulnerable because they can’t repopulate quickly after being overfished.”

The deep sea provides less than 1% of the world’s seafood. But fishing there, especially bottom trawling, causes profound, lasting damage to fishes and life on the seafloor, such as deep-sea corals, these experts say.

Since the 1970s, when coastal fisheries were overexploited, commercial fishing fleets have moved further offshore and into deeper waters. Some now fish more than a mile deep.

“Because these fish grow slowly and live a long time, they can only sustain a very low rate of fishing,” says author Dr. Selina Heppell, a marine fisheries ecologist at Oregon State University. “On the high seas, it is impossible to control or even monitor the amount of fishing that is occurring. The effects on local populations can be devastating.”

The authors document the collapse of many deep-sea fishes around the world, including sharks and orange roughy. Other commercially caught deep-sea fishes include grenadiers (rattails) and blue ling.

“Fifty years ago no one ate orange roughy,” said author Dr. Daniel Pauly, a fisheries biologist with the University of British Columbia (UBC). “In fact, it used to be called slimehead, indicating no one ever thought we would eat it. But as we’ve overfished our coastal species, that changed and so did the name.”

Orange roughy take 30 years to reach sexual maturity and can live 125 years. Compared with most coastal fishes, they live in slow-motion. Unfortunately for them and the deep-sea corals they live among, they can no longer hide from industrial fishing.

“Fishing for orange roughy started in New Zealand and grew rapidly through the 1980s and 1990s. However, most of the fisheries were overexploited, and catch levels have either been dramatically reduced or the fisheries closed all together,” says author Dr. Malcolm Clark, a New Zealand-based fisheries biologist. “The same pattern has been repeated in Australia, Namibia, the SW Indian Ocean, Chile and Ireland. It demonstrates how vulnerable deep-sea fish species can be to overfishing and potential stock collapse.”

There are very few exceptions to unsustainable deep-sea fisheries around the world. One is the Azores fishery for black scabbardfish. There the Portuguese government has banned bottom trawling, which overfished black scabbardfish elsewhere. Azores fish are caught sustainably with hook and line gear from small boats. In most deep sea-fisheries, however, trawlers fish outside of nations’ 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones, outside of effective government control.

“Deep-sea fisheries can be sustainable only where the fish population grows quickly and fisheries are small-scale and use gear that don’t destroy fish habitat,” said Dr. Norse. “With slow-growing fish, there’s economic incentive to kill them all and reinvest the money elsewhere to get a higher return-on-investment. Killing off life in the deep sea one place after another isn’t good for our oceans or economies. Boom-and-bust fisheries are more like mining than fishing,” Dr. Norse said.

The lawlessness of the high seas adds to overfishing in the deep. So do nations’ fisheries subsidies.

High seas trawlers receive some $162 million each year in government handouts, which amounts to 25% the value of the fleet’s catch, according to Dr. Rashid Sumaila, an author and fisheries economist at UBC.

The authors of this Marine Policy paper say that the best policy would be to end economically wasteful deep-sea fisheries, redirect subsidies to help displaced fishermen and rebuild fish populations in productive waters closer to ports and markets, places far more conducive to sustainable fisheries.

“Instead of overfishing the Earth’s biggest but most vulnerable ecosystem, nations should recover fish populations and fish in more productive coastal waters,” says Dr. Norse. “Deep-sea fishes are in deep trouble almost everywhere we look. Governments shouldn’t be wasting taxpayers’ money by keeping unsustainable fisheries afloat.”

About the Marine Conservation Institute

The Marine Conservation Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to securing protection for the oceans’ most important places. We work with scientists, government officials, businesses and conservation organizations around the world to fashion sustainable solutions compatible with healthy, living oceans.

Find Marine Conservation Institute online at, Twitter, Facebook and on the blog Marine Conservation News.

Project Overview - Sustainability of deep-sea fisheries
- Are deep-sea fisheries sustainable?
Graphic- A look at deep-sea bottom trawling
Full Article - Sustainability of deep-sea fisheries in Marine Policy



Ancient Toothy Fish Found in Arctic—Giant Prowled Rivers

Six-foot predator had long fangs, "smiling" face.


photo: Laccognathus fossil diagram

A diagram (right) labels the different sections of the newfound Laccognathus embryi fossil.

Photograph by Ted Daeschler/ANSP

photo: drawing of a Laccognathus


An artist's concept of Laccognathus embryi. Illustration courtesy Jason Poole, ANSP.

Christine Dell'Amore

National Geographic News

Published September 12, 2011

Fossils of a new species of carnivorous fish that prowled ancient rivers have been discovered in the Canadian Arctic, a new study says.

The 6-foot-long (1.8-meter-long)Laccognathus embryi was "the kind of fish that was waiting to lunge out to grab whatever was in front of it," said study co-author Ted Daeschler, a vertebrate zoologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

The fish's 1.5-inch-long (3.8-centimeter-long) fangs would have definitely sunk into flesh, he added.

In addition, the 375-million-year-old fish had thick, quarter-size scales; tiny eyes; a flat head; and a wide mouth—sort of like a modern-day grouper.

The fossil head "looks like a big, smiling face looking up at you," added Daeschler, who received funding for his research from the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)

Newfound Giant Swam With "Missing Link" Fish

Daeschler and colleagues found the new fish fossils during several excavations in a siltstone flood deposit on Ellesmere Island (see map) in Nunavut, Canada. The name L. embryi is a nod to Canadian geologist Ashton Embry, whose Arctic research helped prepare the scientists for their fieldwork.

In 2004 the same "incredibly productive" Arctic site had yielded Tiktaalik roseae,a fossil creature that lived during the same period as L. embryi and is considered to be a crucial link between fish and early limbed animals.

Both Tiktaalik and L. embryi were lobe-finned fish, a group with rounded, limb-like fins. The group was beginning to blink out in the Devonian period, 415 to 360 million years ago—its only surviving members are the "living fossil" fish, thecoelacanth, and the lungfish.

The Devonian "was a fish-eats-fish kind of world," Daeschler said. "There was a real arms race going. If you [were a smaller fish and] didn't have good armor on your body, you were very vulnerable."

The period was also "a very watershed time in the history of life on Earth, because you're seeing the dwindling—the end—of many of the more archaic groups ... including many of the lobe-finned fish," Daeschler said.

At the same time, "you're seeing the beginnings of the groups that go on to dominate the vertebrate fauna for the next 375 million years ... the upstarts if you want."

For example, ray-finned fish—the typical body plan we associate with modern fish—had begun to take over the seas.

Devonian World Still a Mystery

Though the Tiktaalik and L. embryi discoveries are valuable in and of themselves, "it's not just finding the animal—it's also placing the animal in its evolutionary crucible," Daeschler added.

For instance, finding the "cast of characters" that once occupied the Arctic site may begin to provide clues about who ate who and may help answer a big question: What environmental conditions drove fish onto land, where they eventually evolved into limbed animals, including us?

"We want to know," Daeschler said, "what that world was like."

The new predatory-fish study was published in September in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.