Coastal Fisheries Programme
Shark & Ray ID Manual

Shark and ray identification manual

for observers and crew of the western and central Pacific tuna fisheries

by Timothy Park, Lindsay Marshall, Aymeric Desurmont, Boris Colas and Neville Smith

The SPC Shark and ray identification manual for observers and crew of the western and central Pacific tuna fisheries has been developed to improve the identification of shark and ray species encountered in the tropical and subtropical tuna fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), as well as informing on correct methods for their handling and release. The manual is designed to be a concise field guide for use by fisheries observers and fishers who collect the operational data and whose reports are the principal sources of catch information for fisheries management in the world’s largest tuna fishery.

Although sharks and rays are an incidental bycatch of pelagic tuna fisheries, these fisheries are accredited with causing significant declines in the populations of some shark and ray species. The 44 shark and ray species in this guide include those with adaptations to being pinnacle predators, huge planktonic feeders or small parasitic predators of large pelagic fish and mammals. These species are included because they are caught incidentally, or are set on because of their association with tuna, or interact with fishing operations through their depredation of the catch in the WCPO tropical and subtropical tuna fisheries.


Download the complete version:pdf pdf:


Table of contents


pdf pdf:

Main shark and ray external features and measurements

pdf pdf:

Keys for shark and ray identification

pdf pdf:

Species illustrations and details

pdf pdf:

WCPFC shark and ray handling guidelines for purse-seiner and longliner crew

pdf pdf:

Indexes and glossary

pdf pdf:


©All rights for commercial / for profit reproduction or translation, in any form, reserved. The SPC authorises the partial reproduction or translation of this material for scientific, educational or research purposes, provided that SPC and the source document are properly acknowledged. Permission to reproduce the document and/or translate in whole, in any form, whether for commercial / for profit or non-profit purposes, must be requested in writing. Original SPC artwork may not be altered or separately published without permission.

   SPC Homepage | Copyright © SPC 2021