Biodiversity, Life History, and Conservation of Northeastern Pacific Chondrichthyans
The sharks, batoids, and chimaeras, collectively the class Chondrichthyes, are one of the most successful groups of fishes, with over 1250 species globally. Recent taxonomic revisions have increased their diversity by about 20% over the past 17 years (2000–2016). The Northeast Pacific Ocean is one of the top 20 most diverse regions/countries on the globe with 77 chondrichthyan species, a number less than a quarter that of the most species-rich area (Australia) but that has increased by 10% since 2000 to include three new species (two skates and a chimaera). In this chapter we discuss the species richness of chondrichthyans occurring in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, characterize their life histories, briefly review several fisheries, and summarize the conservation status of those chondrichthyans occurring in the region. Detailed descriptions and evaluations of fisheries can be found in Chapter 7 of AMB Volume 78.