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Starry smoothhound

Mustelus asterias

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Demersal otter trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - North Sea, Skagerrak, Eastern English Channel, Celtic Sea, Bay of Biscay and Iberian Waters
Stock detail - IV, IIIa, VIId, VI, VIIa-c, e-k, VIII, Ixa
Accreditation -
Fish type - White round fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is not a good choice of sustainable fish to eat and should be only eaten very occasionally. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find more sustainable fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

Smooth-hounds are some of the more productive elasmobranchs. Starry smoothhounds are one of the few sharks species whose numbers appear to be stable at present, however ICES is uncertain about its stock status in general. As ICES recognises the relatively high productivity of smoothound compared to other elasmobranch species, there is potential for a smoothound fishery to become sustainable. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) rates starry smoothhounds as being of "Least Concern", however more data on catch and stock levels are required.

Biology

Starry smoothhounds are a common shark found inshore and offshore throughout European waters. Females mature at about 85cm and males from 75 to 85cm. They give birth to live young with 7 to 10 pups per litter. The maximum size of the species is 140cm, age at maturity and longevity is unknown.

Stock information

Stock area
North Sea, Skagerrak, Eastern English Channel, Celtic Sea, Bay of Biscay and Iberian Waters

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Stock information
Starry smoothhounds are widespread all around the coasts of northwest Europe. Research surveys and commercial and recreational catches from around the UK indicate it is one of the few shark species whose abundance has been stable or has increased in recent years in the North Sea, English Channel and Celtic Sea. However, ICES is uncertain about its stock status in general and it cannot be fully evaluated in the absence of defined reference points. ICES believes that unlike other similar elasmobranchs, these species can sustain fisheries as it has a relatively higher productivity.There has been a general increase in smooth-hound abundance since the early 1990s. Commercial landings have increased in recent years, although landings data are considered unreliable, due to the widespread use of generic landings categories (e.g. dogfish and hounds). Based on ICES approach to data-limited stocks, ICES advises in 2012 that catches of smoothhounds (Mustelus spp.) in the North East Atlantic should be reduced by 4%. This advice is valid for 2013 and 2014.

Management

There is a generic EC Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, but there are no specific management objectives for these species.

Capture information

Smooth-hounds are taken as a bycatch in mixed demersal and gillnet fisheries. Smooth-hounds are important species for recreational fisheries in some areas. Although landings data are preliminary and underestimate true landings, it is clear that catches have increased in recent years. This increase may reflect the increased abundance and/or improved marketing opportunities for the species (given the zero TAC for spurdog).There is a potential for damage to the seabed from trawling. Trawling is also associated with discarding of unwanted fish, i.e. undersized and/or non-quota and/or over-quota species.

Read more about capture methods

Alternatives

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.

Mullet, Red, Striped red mullet Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Alaska pollock, Walleye pollock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bass, seabass Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bream, Black or porgy or seabream

Bream, Gilthead Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Cod, Atlantic Cod Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Coley, Saithe Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Haddock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Hake, Cape

Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola

Meagre

Pouting or Bib

Sturgeon Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Tilapia

Whiting Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Wolffish


References
ICES Advice 2013, Book 9

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