Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Squatina squatina - Angel Shark

Habitat & Distribution

Found in temperate waters over mud or sand from coastal waters to depths of 150m.

This demersal species is not particularly sought after by commercial fisheries, however, much of its range has been subject to intense demersal fishing and the species is highly vulnerable, from birth onwards, to by-catch in trawls, set nets and bottom long lines. Consequently its abundance has declined dramatically in the past 50 years to a point where it has been declared extinct in the North Sea and has been extirpated from large areas of the northern Mediterranean. It is now extremely uncommon throughout most of the remainder of its range. This species is still occasionally caught in shallower waters along the south coast of Cornwall, in the Isles of Scilly and there are older records for St. Ives Bay on the north coast. It is on the IUCN Red List (2006) as ' Critically Endangered' and has been added (2008) to Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) and is on the UK List of Priority Species. This species was regularly called the Monkfish or Monk, but this name is now used commercially for the Angler Lophius piscatorius .


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.