Data about the life history, age at maturity and longevity, periodicity, rate of population increase and mortality of the Angel Shark Squatina squatina is currently unknown.
What is known, is that this species is ovoviviparous, which means that the embryos develop inside the eggs and hatch inside the mother’s body. According to the literature, the young are born alive with an estimated size of 20-30 cm after a gestation period of around 8 – 10 months. It is estimated that females reach maturity at a size larger than 100 cm and males between 80 – 132, however this data still needs to be confirmed.
Throughout this study, we have found that there also seems to be seasonality in the reproductive behaviour of this shark. Our latest registrations in the online database ePOSEIDON have shown a great number of pictures of juvenile Angel Sharks in Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Accordingly, spring/summer (march – july) could be the season of birth, as suggested by Osaer F, 2009 in is doctoral thesis with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Angel Shark Project’s aim is to make an assessment of the conservation status of the critically endangered Angel Shark Squatina squatina. Knowing more about the life history of this shark is therefore crucial! We are happy to see that at least part of its population seems to be reproducing successfully.
In the future, we expect to have more information in our database to be able to determine the reproductive season and find out more about the age at maturity and longevity, periodicity, rate of population increase and mortality of the Angel Shark.