Narrownose Smooth-hound

About the Narrownose Smooth-hound

Narrownose Smoothhounds can be found in the Southwest Atlantic off the coast of Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina. They swim at a depth between 60 m to 195 m, but like to swim at the bottom of the ocean.

Biology and Behaviour:

Narrownose Smoothhounds migrate seasonally in large numbers like many hound sharks between southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

They have a fairly slender body with a short head. Their snout is moderately long and bluntly angular in a lateral view and their mouths are short.

The maximum length for Narrownose sharks is 92 cm, but depending on which country the shark is near to, the length varies. Male Narrownose sharks endemic to Argentina grow to a maximum of 90 cm while females reach 108 cm. Narrownose sharks near Brazil have males that grow to a maximum of 78 cm, and females reaching 96 cm. They feed on crustaceans such as crabs and other small fishes.

Reproduction and Lifespan

Narrow smoothhounds are ovoviviparous and gestate for eleven months. Litter size varies from two to seven pups and the length at birth is about 26 cm. Pups mature between 55 cm to 62 cm.

The maximum age for males is nine years while females live a little long to 16 years.   

Conservation and Tourism

Narrownose smoothhounds are subjected to intensive fishing in their habitats including the nursery areas — similar to striped smooth-hound sharks.

In southern Brazil during winter, Narrownose smoothhounds are fished from bycatches and targeted fisheries. Bottom trawl fishery catch per unit effort (CPUE) is evidence that intensive fishing that began in 1985 has decreased the winter migrant populations by 85% in 1997. From a summer shore fishery survey in 2003, young Norrownose smoothhound sharks were not recorded in the area anymore.

In Argentina, Narrownose smoothhounds are important fishery resource since 1988, and the market has increased in demand in the last eight years. Intensive fishing not only occurs in their habitat but in their nursery areas as well. The reduction in landings indicates that despite reproduction, narrownose smoothhounds cannot withstand the level of fishing intensity in Argentina.   

The Argentine fisheries authorities established the Maximum Permitted Catch (MPC), and landings for narrownose smoothhounds has declined.

All of these factors considered, the IUCN lists narrownose smoothhounds as endangered.

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Narrownose Smooth-hound Gallery

Scientific NameMustelus schmitti
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
CitesNot Listed
Litter Size2-14
SpeciesMustelus schmitti
Common Length60 cm
Max Lenght108 cm
Depth Range60 - 196 m
DistributionSouthwest Atlantic
EnvironmentDemersal, Marine, Oceanodromus