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

Chiloscyllium griseum | Müller & Henle, 1838
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 Grey Bamboo Shark occurs throughout UAE waters. In the Arabian Seas region, it is known from a few specimens from the Arabian Gulf, Iran, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. Its global distribution is uncertain due to confusion with other species, but is known to occur in the Indo-West Pacific.
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
This species is a sluggish inshore bottom dweller found on sandy and muddy bottoms, on rocks and in coral lagoons at depths from 5 to 100 m (Weigmann 2016). It is oviparous and deposits eggs in small oval egg cases on the sea floor. The maximum size is at least 77 cm total length (TL). Free-living individuals have been found at sizes of at least 12.2 cm, and size at hatching uncertain. Males mature between 45 and 55 cm TL. The species feeds mainly on small fish, shrimps, worms, molluscs and crabs. Age data are not available, but generation length is estimated as 9 years using data from the similar-sized White-spotted Bambooshark (C. plagiosum) (Chen et al. 2007).
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Near Threatened
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment status criteria
Assessment rationale/justification
The Grey Bamboo Shark occurs throughout UAE coastal waters, but it is poorly known in part due to taxonomic uncertainty and confusion with Chiloscyllium arabicum. It is not targeted, but is taken as bycatch in trawl (and other) fisheries, and is typically discarded due to its small size and low market value. 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 20-30% over the past three generation lengths, or about 27 years. It is listed as Near Threatened, nearly meeting the thresholds for 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
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. This species is impacted by bycatch fisheries that are active elsewhere in its range. Marine habitats in the 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). 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
Chiloscyllium griseum Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Orectolobiformes Hemiscylliidae Chiloscyllium