The Velvet Dogfish is a deepwater shark species found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific tropical oceans. Generally, on or near the bottom of continental and insular slopes at depths of 550 to 1,450 metres, this species can also be found at the surface to 2,000 metres deep.
The Velvet Dogfish is a small and slender black dogfish species, has two small dorsal fin spines, a moderately long snout, small lanceolate teeth in their upper jaw and large, high cutting teeth in their lower jaw. Reaching a maximum total length of 69 cm, females mature at 59 cm while males mature at 49 cm. Little else is known of their biology.
The Velvet Dogfish is listed as data deficient by the IUCN Red List and more information is required to further assess status and future conservation needs.
Having minor commercial use by fisheries, this species is used dried and salted for human consumption and for fishmeal. They are rarely caught by longline fisheries operating in deep water and are also caught, but rarely landed, by pelagic (open ocean) tuna longline fisheries. This species is also taken as bycatch by deepwater benthic trawl, longline and set net gear.
As deepwater fisheries expand worldwide, overfishing (directly or as bycatch) can lead to a population collapse of deepwater sharks, such as the velvet dogfish, therefore they (and other similar species) should be monitored.
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