Poroderma Smith

Brett A. Human, 2006, A taxonomic revision of the catshark genus Poroderma Smith, 1837 (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae)., Zootaxa 1229, pp. 1-32: 2

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Poroderma Smith


[[ Genus Poroderma Smith  ]]

There is a minor directed fishery for Poroderma  sharks for the aquarium trade; however, they are a significant bycatch in many fisheries including both recreational and commercial linefishing, and demersal trawling (Bass et al. 1975; Buxton et al. 1984; Guastella 1993; Pradervand 1999; pers. obs.). These sharks also suffer from persecution from the commercial linefishery, as illustrated by Smith (1949: 53), who describes P. africanum  as “…a pest to anglers”, particularly in the commercial linefishery, where the fisherman perceive these sharks to be ‘stealing’ their bait and make a point of killing the shark before discarding it. Bycatch mortality can be considered to be close to 100% in those fisheries where persecution exists (pers. obs.); therefore, fishery pressure for these species is grossly underestimated.

Although P. africanum  is readily recognisable, colour pattern variation in P. pantherinum  has caused taxonomic confusion in the past, and it appears that there may be ontogenetic and geographic factors that are partly responsible for that variation. In this study, the taxonomy of species of Poroderma  is assessed, the first detailed description of the colour pattern variations in P. pantherinum  , and a novel identification key for the genus, are provided. Taxonomic resolution of this genus will allow better fisheries management for these sharks.