The whitespot smoothhound is endemic to southern African waters. They are active offshore only and caught from the intertidal to 611 m.
Whitespots are found in shallow subtidal sandy beaches and reefs. It feeds on octopus, crustaceans and bony fish. The maximum size a male could go is 120 cm, the size of the female is unknown. Born at 25 cm, they are viviparous, and the size of a litter is 3 to 15.
They’re caught as a bycatch by commercial trawl fisheries off the south and west coasts of South Africa. They usually have lines or scatterings of small white spots along the body and grey above, white below.
Species- specific data is not available but indications from demersal fish biomass assessment that cruises off South Africa state that Mustelus species could be declining. Despite the common status and that it appears to be in habitats which are untrawlable, there are other concerns like fishing developments which happens to reduce its number. As much data isn’t available on the population, further research is necessary, and bycatch should be noted at the species level.
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