- The ghost shark is a small species with a maximum reported size of 49 inches and there is no way you could confuse it with any other. They are part of the family Chimaera and are a silvery white above and a creamy white below with dark blotches scattered over its entire body. Indicative characteristics of this shark include a long pointed snout with a club-like structure on the snout and large pectoral fins on a small stout body. These sharks also have a spine at the base of the first dorsal fin which can cause a nasty injury if not handled carefully. They seem to prefer clams and other shellfish and the projection on its nose appears to be used in finding prey.The ghost shark is classified as being a minor threat to humans due chiefly to its potentially dangerous spine. It has never been known to attack humans but this may be due to its small size. This shark is also considered to be minor importance in commercial fisheries but is prized by indigenous peoples in New Zealand. Although not a targeted species it is often caught in other fisheries with the majority being exported to Australia for use in fish and chips. The ghost shark is currently listed as “Least Concern” with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN is a global union of states governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations that assesses the conservation status of species. A listing as “Least Concern” indicates that this species does not qualify for “Endangered” “Vulnerable” or “Near Threatened.” This category includes widespread and abundant species the ghost shark is considered relatively abundant throughout its geographic range.
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