Cartilaginous fishes (chondrichthyans)

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Basking sharks are most of the time only visible on the surface when they are feeding on zooplankton. (Foto: Nils Øien / Havforskningsinstituttet)

Photo: Nils Øien, IMR

This group of fish consists of sharks, skates, rays and ghost sharks. Cartilaginous fishes, as the name suggests, have skeletons made of cartilage rather than bone.

Unlike bony fish, they lack swimming bladders. Cartilage is lighter than bone and they can in addition control their buoyancy with their breast fins. Most species also have an oil-rich liver that can make up to 30% of their body mass and which contributes to buoyancy.

Those species are found in Norwegian waters

Sharks

Basking shark - Cetorhinus maximus
Blackmouth shark (Galeus melastomus)
Lesser spotted dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula)
Tope/school shark (Galeorhinus galeus)
Velvel belly lanternshark (Etmopterus spinax)

Skates

Arctic skate - Amblyraja hyperborea
Blonde ray - Raja brachuyra

Cockoo ray - Leucoraja naevus
Flapper skate - Dipturus intermedius (D. batis complex)
Longnose skate - Dipturus oxyrinchus
Norwegian skate - Dipturus nidarosiensis
Round ray - Rajella fyllae

Sail ray - Rajella lintea
Sandy ray - Leucoraja circularis

Shagreen ray - Leucoraja fullonica
Spinetail ray - Bathyraja spinicauda
Spotted ray - Raja montagui
Starry ray - Amblyraja radiata
Thornback ray - Raja clavata

Ghost sharks

 

Projects and Activities

We work on a number of different shark and skate species as well as the rabbit fish in Norwegian waters. Our research questions range from life history and stock development to distribution shifts, stock/population connectivity and movement and home ranges.

The main shark species we are currently working on are spurdog, porbeagle and basking shark.

 

Basking shark

The basking shark project is a collaborative project between several researchers in Norway and Scotland. Goal of the project is to get a better overview of the distribution and migration patterns in Norwegian waters. Therefore, we have launched an electronic reporting form for basking shark observations, and we hope that those who see a basking shark will report back when and where the observation took place (both observations of living basking sharks or findings of dead individuals). The online form for reporting a basking shark observation is found here: Havfunn portal

See also our corresponding press release here: www.hi.no/news

 

Additionally, we are collaborating with our institute colleagues in Bergen (Rupert Wienerroither, Otte Bjelland, Kjell Nedreaas, Tom Williams), Arve Lynghammar from the University of Tromsø and Nico Straube from the University of Bergen on questions related to skates and their species identification on fishing and research vessels.

 

News and material

Publications

2019

Albert OT, Junge C, Myrlund MK. 2019. Young mums are rebuilding the spurdog stock (Squalus acanthias L.) in Norwegian waters. ICES Journal of

      Marine Science 76 p. 2193-2204.

Junge C, Donnellan SC, Huveneers C, Bradshaw CJA, Simon A, Drew M, Duffy C, Johnson G, Cliff G,

      Braccini M, Cutmore SC, Butcher P, McAuley R, Peddemors V, Rogers P, Gillanders BM (2019).

      Comparative population genomics confirms little population structure in two commercially

      targeted carcharhinid sharks.  Marine Biology, 166:16. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-018-3454-4

2018

Albert OT (2018). Porbeagle: Data limited stock assessment, using the SPICT model. Working

      document no. 13 to WGEF, Lisbon 19-28 June 2018.

ICES WGEF. (2018) Report of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Working

      Group on Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF), 12-28 June 2018, Lisbon, Portugal. ICES CM 2018/ACOM:16. 1306pp. (Albert OT, Junge C)

2017

Albert OT and Knutsen M (2017). Population parameters of spurdog from Norwegian landings in

      2015-2017. Working document for the ICES Elasmobranch Working Group (WGEF) 2017.

ICES WGEF. (2017) Report of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Working

      Group on Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF), 31 May-7 June 2017, Lisbon, Portugal. ICES CM

      2017/ACOM:16. 1018pp. (Albert OT, Knutsen M)

Knutsen M, Thangstad TH, Søvik G and Albert OT (2017). Survey trends of skates in Norwegian

      waters. Working document for the ICES Elasmobranch Working Group (WGEF) 2017.

McMillan MN, Izzo C, Junge C, Albert OT, Jung A, Gillanders BM (2017). Analysis of vertebral

      chemistry to assess stock structure in a deep-sea shark, Etmopterus spinax. ICES Journal of

      Marine Science, 74, 793–803.  DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsw176.

2016

Albert OT (2016). Update on occurrence of Spurdog in Norwegian catches.  Working document for

      the ICES Elasmobranch Working Group (WGEF) 2016.

Albert OT, Vollen T, Bjelland O, Otterå H, and Nedreaas KH (2016). Norwegian catches and landings

      of skates by species. Working document for the ICES Elasmobranch Working Group (WGEF) 2016.

ICES WGEF. (2016) Report of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Working

      Group on Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF), 15–24 June 2016, Lisbon, Portugal. ICES CM/ACOM:20.

      26pp. (Albert OT, Vollen T)

2015

Albert OT and Vollen T (2015).  Spurdog in Norwegian waters: Recent trends in occurrence and

      composition in surveys and commercial catches. Working document for the ICES Elasmobranch

      Working Group (WGEF) 2015.

Donnellan SC, Foster R, Junge C, Huveneers, C, Rogers P, Kilians A, Bertozzi T (2015). Fiddling with

      the proof: the Magpie Fiddler Ray is a colour pattern variant of the common Southern Fiddler Ray

      (Rhinobatidae: Trygonorrhina)

ICES WGEF. (2015) Report of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Working

      Group on Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF), 17–23 June 2015, Lisbon, Portugal. ICES CM

      2015/ACOM:19. 711 pp. (Albert OT, Vollen T)

Vollen T and Albert OT (2015). Spurdog in two Norwegian surveys. Working document for the ICES

      Elasmobranch Working Group (WGEF) 2015.

Wienerroither RM, Bjelland O, Bachmann L, Junge C (2015). Northernmost record of the little gulper

      shark Centrophorus uyato in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean, with taxonomical notes on

      Centrophorus zeehaani. Journal of Fish Biology 86, 834–844. DOI: 0.1111/jfb.12602

2014

ICES WGEF. (2014) Report of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Working

      Group on Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF), 17–26 June 2014, Lisbon, Portugal. ICES CM

      2014/ACOM:19. 887 pp. (Vollen T, Lynghammar A (UiT))

Vollen T (2014). Data on spurdog from two Norwegian surveys; the Shrimp survey and the Coastal

      survey updated with new data in 2014. Working Document presented at the Working Group on

      Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF) meeting, 17–26 June 2014; 2014/25.

2013

ICES WGEF. (2013) Report of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Working

      Group on Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF), 17–21 June 2013, Lisbon, Portugal. ICES CM

      2013/ACOM:19. 680 pp. (Albert OT, Vollen T)

2012

Albert OT and Vollen T (2012).  Plan for a Norwegian sentinel fishery for spurdog. Working document

      for the ICES Elasmobranch Working Group (WGEF) 2012.

ICES WGEF. (2012) Report of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Working

      Group on Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF), 19–26 June 2012, Lisbon, Portugal. ICES CM

      2012/ACOM:19. 547 pp. (Albert OT, Vollen T)