Carcharhinus amboinensis | UAE National Red List of Marine Species: Reef-building corals, cartilaginous fishes and select bony fishes

Carcharhinus amboinensis | (Müller & Henle, 1839)
Countries in Assessment
United Arab Emirates
Country ISO code(s)
Does the assessment cover a marine EEZ area(s)?
Scope (Assessment)
Taxonomic Group
Taxonomic Group Level 2
Assessed taxon level
Taxon distribution as listed in assessment
The Pigeye Shark occurs throughout UAE waters. Globally, it is widespread but patchy in the Indo-West Pacific and Eastern Atlantic Oceans (Last and Stevens 2009). It is likely to have been widely misidentified as the Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) where their distributions overlap (Gulf of Aden and eastwards).
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
The Pigeye Shark occurs in inshore and offshore waters to depths of at least 100 m and juveniles are known to occur in estuaries (Ebert et al. 2013). Data on the life history of this species in the region is limited. Maximum reported size is 303 cm TL (Henderson et al. 2004). Size at birth is 57-72 cm TL, males mature at 195-227 cm TL, females mature at less than 195-224 cm TL (Moore et al. 2012, Ebert et al. 2013). Litter sizes reported include 11 from the Red Sea (I. Elhassan unpubl. data). In other parts of the range, litter sizes range from 3-13 (Bass et al. 1973). In Australia, females mature at 13 years and live to more than 30 years, while males mature at 12 years and live to more than 26 years (Tillett et al. 2011). Based on these data, generation length is estimated at 21.5 years.
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment status criteria
Assessment rationale/justification
The Pigeye Shark occurs throughout UAE inshore and offshore waters. It is likely to have often been confused with the Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas), which causes difficulty when interpreting landings data. Little specific data are available for this species in the UAE. It is apparently highly migratory, and has slow life history characteristics including low fecundity and a low annual rate of population increase. Considering this, the species has a low capacity to recover from even moderate levels of exploitation. It is especially susceptible to exploitation (target and bycatch) in many largely unregulated gill net and longline fisheries that operate within its range outside and surrounding UAE waters. In addition, degradation of rivers and estuaries in the Arabian Gulf region is likely a significant threat, particularly to juveniles. Some management measures are now in place in the Arabian Sea region, although domestic fisheries are likely to continue. Though data specifically from the UAE are not available, individuals in the UAE are a component of a larger, interconnected and migratory population that occurs broadly in the north-western Indian Ocean. It is inferred that declines reported in the Arabian Sea region are representative of its status in the UAE. Based on recorded levels of exploitation and decline in habitat quality, it is suspected to have declined by 30-50% over the past three generation lengths, or about 65 years. It is listed as Vulnerable A2cd.
About the assessment
Assessment year
Assessors/contributors/reviewers listed
UAE National Red List Workshop
Affliation of assessor(s)/contributors/reviewers listed on assessment
Assessor affiliation specific
Criteria system
Criteria system specifics
IUCN v3.1
Criteria system used
Criteria Citation
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1, Second edition. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. iv + 32pp pp. And IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. iii + 41pp.
Endemic to region
Endemism Notes
Is an endemic?: Not_assigned
Threats listed in assessment
Information pertaining to threats specific to the UAE are unavailable. This species is impacted by target (for fins and their valuable meat) and bycatch fisheries that are active elsewhere in its range. Marine habitats in the Arabian Gulf are experiencing high levels of disturbance and quickly deteriorating due to major impacts from development activities (including dredging and reclamation), desalination plants, industrial activities, habitat destruction through the removal of shallow productive areas and major shipping lanes (Sheppard et al. 2010). Specifically, juveniles utilize rivers and estuaries, which are known to have undergone serious degradation in the Arabian Gulf region due to damming, agriculture and coastal development.
Conservation Measures

Conservation measures:
Conservation measures notes:
Required conservation measures:

Scientific Name Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Carcharhinus amboinensis Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Carcharhinidae Carcharhinus