Dark Ghost Shark/Pearl

 Best Fish Guide: Dark Ghost Shark/Pearl

Dark Ghost Shark: Quick Facts

 Scientific name: Hydrolagus novaezealandiae

Other names: Chimaera, pearl, pearl fish, chimére (France), ginbuka, ginzame (Japan).

Ranking: E (Red - Worst Choice)

  Ranking: E (Red - Worst Choice)

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Alternative choice:    No alternative

 Description: This slow growing deepwater shark species is only found in New Zealand and is most abundant in waters 150 to 500m deep off the West Coast of the South Island and the Chatham Rise. It is caught almost entirely as bycatch in other target trawl fisheries, notably the hoki fishery, but also the silver warehou, arrow squid and barracouta fisheries, plus by deepwater longlining.

Ecological concerns: The lack of basic biological data, the uncertain long-term sustainability of catch levels, the unknown status of the fishstocks and the impact of trawling on benthic species. As a bycatch species, it has associated seabird and marine mammal bycatch and disrupted ecosystem concerns.

Whilst there is no management plan for dark ghost sharks, in 2008 a New Zealand National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks was developed. However, there are no specific conservation actions for ghost sharks, nor is there any difference in its management from the status quo.

Economic value: Ghost shark exports of around $2 million to Australia and shark fins are : exported to Asia in 2008.


Biology and risk of overfishing (score D)
Status and sustainability of fish catches (score D)
Impact of fishing method and protected, threatened and endangered species captures (score E and D)
Management and management unit (score E and B)

For a full ecological assessment click here