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

Carcharhinus plumbeus | (Nardo, 1827)
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 Sandbar Shark occurs throughout UAE waters. Elsewhere, it is broad ranging but patchily distributed (Last and Stevens 2009).
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
The Sandbar Shark occurs in coastal, often shallow waters and is associated with sandy or muddy flats, bays, estuaries and harbours (Grubbs et al. 2007). The species also occurs further offshore, particularly on banks, near islands, flat reefs and other topographic features in open waters from the surface to 280 m depth, but is typically found in waters less than 100 m depth (Compagno et al. 2005). It attains a maximum size of at least 240 cm total length (TL) (Ebert et al. 2013). Size at maturity in females ranges from 129-158 cm TL and from 123-156 cm TL in males. This species is viviparous with a yolk sac placenta with a gestation period estimated at 9-12 months (McAuley et al. 2007). Females apparently have young only every two or three years. Litter size is variable and depends in part on the size of the mother, and ranges from 1-10 (Tester 1969, McAuley et al. 2007). Size at birth varies slightly by region but does not follow the same geographic pattern. New born pups range from 40-65 cm TL (Capapé 1984, McAuley et al. 2007).Sandbar Sharks are slow-growing K-selected species (Hoff and Musick 1987, Sminkey and Musick 1995). Wild populations grow very slowly and mature at a relatively late age (Lawler 1976, Casey et al. 1985, Sminkey and Musick 1995). Maturity in these studies was estimated at 13-16 years. The ages at which 50% of female and male sharks were mature was estimated to be 16.2 and 13.8 years, respectively (McAuley et al. 2006) and longevity is 35-41 years (McAuley et al. 2006). In the Tasman Sea, age at maturity for females and males was 9.5 and 7 years, respectively (Geraghty et al. 2015). Generation length is therefore estimated as 28.5 years.
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment status criteria
Assessment rationale/justification
The Sandbar Shark occurs throughout UAE inshore and offshore waters. It is caught with longlines, hook-and-line, and set bottom nets and the fins are generally considered to be of high value. While there is limited information available on this species in the region, its large size, valuable fins and intensive fisheries mean that, like many other large carcharhinids in the region, it has declined significantly. In addition, this is one of the least biologically productive sharks, with high intrinsic vulnerability, and information from other parts of its global range have demonstrated that it is quickly overfished even with moderate levels of fishing. Little specific data are available for this species in the UAE. It is especially susceptible to exploitation (target and bycatch) in many largely unregulated gill net, longline and trawl fisheries that operate within its range outside and surrounding UAE waters. 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 at least 50% over the past three generation lengths, or about 86 years. It is listed as Endangered 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
In the UAE, sharks have been impacted by targeted commercial fisheries until 2014 when a ban on export of sharks was imposed (Ministry of Climate Change and Environment). Sharks continue to be impacted by artisanal and bycatch fisheries (Annual Fisheries Statistical Report for Abu Dhabi Emirate 2001-2018), though catch data are not species-specific. Studies show that sandbar sharks are a long-lived species with low fecundity and are very susceptible to overfishing (Springer 1960, Casey et al. 1985, Sminkey and Musick 1995, 1996; McAuley et al. 2005, 2006). Marine habitats in the region have experienced high levels of disturbance and are quickly deteriorating due to major impacts from development activities (Sheppard et al. 2010). Corals in the UAE and Arabian Gulf have severely declined due to the increasing frequency of mass bleaching events caused by rising water temperatures, which is a consequence of climate change, as well as pervasive coastal development (Riegl et al. 2018, Burt et al. 2019).
Conservation Measures

Conservation measures:
Conservation measures notes:
Required conservation measures:

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