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2 SHARK RESOURCES IN CHINA


There are about 110 shark species found in China’s seas of which 27 are found in the Yellow and Bohai Seas, 80 in the East China Sea and 94 in the South China Sea. The shark resources of the East and South China seas appear to be relatively abundant in view of the landings and the number of important species.

Detailed records or reports on the overall situation of shark stocks in Chinese territorial waters have not been found and, due to small landings, the government of China does not list shark production in their statistics. However, experts estimate that the China’s annual shark catch is between 10 and 15 000 tonnes. Large-scale shark fisheries have not been set up in China, probably because of the limited shark resources. The most common catching operations in shark fishery include longline, “brother” angling, trawling, gillnet and drift net. About 20% of the catch comes from directed shark fisheries and the remainder from bycatch. Shark fishing is equally common in the Guangdong, Fujian and Guangxi areas. Shark landings in Guangdong and Fujian provinces represent 80% of the national shark production (40% each), and the remaining 20% are from the Guangxi, Zhejiang, Hainan and Shanghai areas. According to local governmental statistics, there are about 30 important shark fishing species found in the Fujian sea area, of which 21 are caught by longline, and the landings of all these species represent 80-85% of provincial landings. The important fishing species are Carcharhinus menisorrah, Carcharhinus sorrah, Carcharias latistomus, Scoliodon sorrakowa, Hypoprion macloti, Aprionodon brevipinna, hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna spp), Cetorhinus maximus and Chiloscyllium plagiosum. In 1996, 4 608 tonnes of shark were caught in Fujian province, 100 tonnes of Chiloscyllium plagiosum, 40 tonnes of Carcharhinus sorrah and 76 tonnes of Carcharhinus melanopterus. In Guangdong province shark catches are steady at 3-5 000 tonnes per year. 80% of provincial shark landings are obtained from longline and trawling bycatch. The major fishing operations concentrate on waters near Yangjiang, Huizhou and Shanwei cities. Yangjiang is the traditional shark fishing ground, harvesting one to 2 000 tonnes annually. The important fishing species are Carcharhinus sorrah, Carcharhinus gangeticus, Hypoprion atripinna, Carcharhinus microphthalmus, Sphyrna lewini and Carcharodon carcharias.

Table 2 Shark resources in China

SPECIES

COMMON NAME

Catch recorded in:

Resource assessment

North China sea area*

East China Sea

Taiwan Strait

South China Sea

HEXANCHIFORMES

Hexanchidae

Hexanchus griseus

Bluntnose sixgill shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Notorhynchus platycephalus

Broadnose sevengill shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Heptranchias perlo

Sharpsnout sevengill shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Heptranchias dakini

Dakin’s sevengill shark


Yes


Yes

Unclear

HETERODONTIFORMES

Heterodontidae

Heterodontus japonicus

Japanese bullhead shark

Yes

Yes

Yes


Sighted

Heterodontus zebra

Zebra bullhead shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

LAMNIFORMES

Odontaspididae

Carcharias owstoni

Owston’s sand shark

Yes

Yes



Sighted

Carcharias arenarias

Sand shark




Yes

Frequently sighted

Lamnidae

Isurus glaucus

Mackerel shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Carcharodon carcharias

Man-eater/great white shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Cetorhinidae

Cetorhinus maximus

Basking shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Alopiidae

Alopias pelagicus

Pelagic thresher shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Alopias vulpinus

Thresher shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

ORECTOLOBIFORMES

Orectolobidae

Orectolobus japonicus

Japanese carpet shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Orectolobus maculatus

Spotted carpet shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Stegostomatidae

Stegostoma fasciatum

Zebra shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Hemiscylliidae

Chiloscyllium plagiosum

Whitespotted bambooshark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Chiloscyllium griseum

Grey bambooshark




Yes

Unclear

Chiloscyllium punctatum

Brownbanded bambooshark



Yes

Yes

Unclear

Chiloscyllium colax

Ridge back catshark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Unclear

Ginglymostomatidae

Ginglymostoma ferrugineum

Rusty shark



Yes

Yes

Unclear

Nebrius macrurus

Tawny shark




Yes

Unclear

Parascylliidae

Cirrhoscyllium expolitum

Barbelthroat carpetshark




Yes

Unclear

Rhincodontidae

Rhincodon typus

Whale shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

CARCHARHINIFORMES

Scyliorhinidae

Figaro melanobranchius

Blackgill filetail shark


Yes


Yes

Sighted

Galeus eastmani

Eastman’s filetail shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Galeus nipponensis

Japanese filetail shark




Yes

Sighted

Galeus sauteri

Blacktip sawtail catshark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Cephaloscyllium fasciatum

Reticulated swellshark


Yes


Yes

Sighted

Cephaloscyllium. umbratile

Marbled swellshark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Scyliorhinus torazame

Cloudy catshark

Yes

Yes



Sighted

Halaelurus buergeri

Blackspotted catshark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Apristurus microps

Smalleye catshark




Yes

Unclear

Apristurus platyrhynchus

Spatulasnout catshark


Yes


Yes

Unclear

Apristurus verweyi

Borneo catshark


Yes


Yes

Unclear

Apristurus longicephalus

Longhead catshark


Yes


Yes

Unclear

Apristurus. sinensis

South China catshark


Yes


Yes

Unclear

Apristurus macrorhynchus

Flathead catshark


Yes


Yes

Unclear

Apristurus japonicus

Japanese catshark


Yes



Unclear

Apristurus. internatus



Yes



Unclear

A. abbreviatus



Yes



Unclear

Apristurus pinguis






Unclear

Apristurus canutus

Hoary catshark




Yes

Unclear

Apristurus herklotsi

Longfin catshark




Yes

Unclear

Apristurus nasutus

Largenose catshark




Yes

Unclear

Atelomycterus marmoratus

Coral catshark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Proscylliidae

Proscyllium habereri

Haberer’s catshark


Yes


Yes

Sighted

Eridacnis radcliffei

Pygmy ribbontail catshark


Yes


Yes

Unclear

Triakidae

Triakis venusta

Spotted smooth dogfish

Yes

Yes


Yes

Frequently sighted

Triakis scyllium

Banded houndshark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Unclear

Galeorhinus hyugaensis

Blackfin soupfin shark


Yes



Unclear

Galeorhinus japonicus

Japanese soupfin shark

Yes

Yes


Yes

Unclear

Mustelus manazo

Starspotted smooth-hound

Yes

Yes

Yes


Important for fishing

Mustelus griseus

Spotless smooth-hound

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Mustelus kanekonis

Japan smooth hound


Yes


Yes

Sighted

Hemigaleidae

Negogaleus microstoma

Weasel shark


Yes


Yes

Frequently sighted

Negogaleus brachygnathus

Shortnose shark




Yes

Frequently sighted

Negogaleus balfouri

Balfour’s shark


Yes


Yes

Frequently sighted

Negogaleus macrostoma

Bigmouth shark


Yes


Yes

Frequently sighted

Paragaleus acutiventralis

Sharp-ventral shark



Yes

Yes

Sighted

Carcharhinidae

Triaenodon obesus

Whitetip reef shark



Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Galeocerdo cuvier

Tiger shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Scoliodon sorrakowah

Sharp head dog shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Scoliodon walbeehmi

Walbeehm’s dog shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Scoliodon. palasorrah

Short-fin dog shark


Yes


Yes

Frequently sighted

Scoliodon. dumerili

Dumeril’s dog shark




Yes

Sighted

Negaprion queenslandicus

Queensland lemon shark




Yes

Frequently sighted

Aprionodon brevipinna

Spinner shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Hypoprion macloti

Maclot’s shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Hypoprion atripinna

Dusky-fin shark



Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Carcharhinus gangeticus

Ganges shark


Yes


Yes

Important for fishing

Carcharhinus albimarginatus

Silvertip shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Carcharhinus microphthalmus

Small eye shark




Yes

Important for fishing

Carcharhinus pleurotaenia

Crossband shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Carcharias latistomus

Bigmouth shark

Yes

Yes



Important for fishing

Carcharhinus menisorrah

Blackblotch shark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Carcharhinus dussumieri

Whitecheek shark



Yes

Yes

Unclear

Carcharhinus melanopterus

Blacktip reef shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Carcharhinus longimanus

Oceanic whitetip shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Carcharhinus obscurella

Dusky shark


Yes



Sighted

Carcharhinus sorrah

Spottail shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Carcharhinus atrodorsus

Blackback shark




Yes

Unclear

Carcharhinus. remotoides

Copper shark


Yes



Unclear

Physodon muelleri

Muller’s shark




Yes

Sighted

Prionace glauca

Blue shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Sphyrnidae

Sphyrna zygaena

Smooth hammerhead

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Sphyrna. lewini

Scalloped hammer head

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Important for fishing

Sphyrna. mokarran

Great hammer head


Yes


Yes

Frequently sighted

Sphyrna blochii

Bloch’s hammer head




Yes

Frequently sighted

SQUALIFORMES

Squalidae

Squalus acanthias

Piked dogfish

Yes

Yes



Frequently sighted

Squalus mitsukurii

Shortspine spurdog

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Squalus. brevirostris

Shortnose dogfish

Yes

Yes


Yes

Sighted

Scymnodon niger

Velvet dogfish


Yes


Yes

Sighted

Scymnodon squamulosus

Velvet dogfish


Yes


Yes

Sighted

Pseudocentrophorus isodon





Yes

Sighted

Deania aciculata

Arrow head dogfish


Yes

Yes


Unclear

Centrophorus acus

Needle dogfish



Yes

Yes

Unclear

Centrophorus granulosus

Gulper shark




Yes

Unclear

Centrophorus squamosus

Leafscale gulper shark


Yes


Yes

Unclear

Centrophorus tesselatus

Mosaic gulper shark




Yes

Unclear

Centrophorus robustus

Gulper shark


Yes



Unclear

Centrophorus squamulosus

Velvet dogfish




Yes

Unclear

Centroscyllium kamoharai

Bareskin dogfish


Yes



Unclear

Centroscyllium fabricii

Black dogfish




Yes

Frequently sighted

Centroscyllium nigrum

Combtooth dogfish




Yes

Unclear

Centroscymnus owstoni

Roughskin dogfish


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

Etmopterus lucifer

Lucifer shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Frequently sighted

Etmopterus pusillus

Smooth lanternshark



Yes

Yes

Sighted

SQUATINIFORMES

Squatinidae

Squatina japonica

Japanese angel shark

Yes

Yes

Yes


Sighted

Squatina nebulosa

Clouded angel shark


Yes

Yes

Yes

Sighted

PRISTIOPHORIFORMES

Pristiophoridae

Pristiophorus japonicus

Japanese saw shark

Yes

Yes


Yes

Sighted

*North China sea area = Yellow and Bohai Sea


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