To learn more and find out how to join the project click here.
Fish # 11 Bramble Shark Echinorhinus brucus ~ Carey Jones
Acrylic 30 x 23 cm
It's a wonder this shy and solitary shark doesn't have an identity crisis, originally described as Squalus brucus by Bonaterre in 1788, its name was later changed to the currently used Echinorhinus brucus (Bonaterre 1788). It's derived from the Greek echinos meaning "sea urchin, hedgehog" and from rhinos meaning "nose" which describes its appearance perfectly! It also has many other names the world over; a few follow:
In English: mango-tara, spinous shark, and spiny shark and, in many other languages, achinoskylopsaro, kavouromana & Karcharias (Greek), Alligatorhai & Brombeerhai (German), Braamhaai (Afrikaans/Dutch), chenille (French), civili köpek baligi (Turkish), kalb (Arabic), kikuzame (Japanese), murruna tal-fosos, murruna tax-xewk and murruna xewwikija (Maltese), okahai (Finnish), peixe-prego (Portuguese), peshkagen therrës etc. etc.
Despite being so widely named it is a rare shark living in the very deepest parts of the seas and isn't often seen or caught. When it is it's generally by anglers as a game fish or for traditional medicine in southern Africa.
Its short, stout, flabby body and sluggish nature are well suited to its life as a deep-sea dweller (c.900 metres) and the lack of a classic 'Jaws' dorsal fin means it isn't seen as a threat to humans. It varies in colour from olive or purple, to dark grey or black with metallic/luminous reflections on the dorsal side and its body scattered irregularly with distinct thorn-like projections and, occasionally, darker blotches.
According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the bramble shark is a lonely soul - rare and drawn to deep water - and has only been recorded sporadically at widely dispersed localities throughout the world. Very little is really known about Bramble - it's likely to be a slow-growing, late-maturing species but its breeding habits etc. remain a mystery. The good news is that it is not taken in commercial fisheries due to the depth at which it occurs but the bad news is (as always) it is on the decline in the northeast Atlantic. However, due to the lack of data the IUCN has not categorised it as yet - it is anticipated, though, to reach the "Threatened" category as more data becomes available.
Previous Fish Next Fish
Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Community Interest Company is a not-for profit organisation, registered at Companies House. Company Number 10934941