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Helsby, United Kingdom

Sawfishes (Pristidae) are large shark-like batoids (rays) that are among the most threatened of all marine fishes. While there is a broad consensus of severe sawfish declines globally, detailed status assessments for most of their vast circumtropical distribution do not exist. This paper reviews sawfishes of waters adjacent to the Arabian Peninsula, focusing on the Gulf. Until around the 1960s, sawfishes were abundant and widespread in the region, but since around the 1980s, they have been rarely recorded. Sawfishes can now be considered extinct as a functional component of coastal ecosystems, and may be close to being regionally extinct. This assessment is based on the overwhelming weight of evidence from diverse sources such as archaeological data, historical accounts, grey literature, personal communications and extensive fish surveys. Based on 176 individual records, Pristis zijsron was the most frequently recorded species, occurring in all regional seas. Anoxypristis cuspidata records were limited to the coasts of Iran, Pakistan, and Masirah Island (Oman). The first substantiated Pristis pristis records from the Arabian Peninsula are provided, and two records not identifiable to species do not exclude the possibility that Pristis clavata occurs in the region. Humans have used sawfishes as a food, oil, trade, and cultural resource for several thousands of years. Fins have been highly valued since at least the mid-19th century. Based on recent and historical records, known biology, and marine conservation programmes for other species or habitats, priority areas for sawfish research and recovery programmes are the central southern Gulf; significant mangrove areas in Iran and the UAE; the Musandam Peninsula; and Masirah Island (Oman). Historical regional declines coincide with the widespread availability of nylon gillnets, to which sawfishes are disproportionately vulnerable. Any attempt at sawfish recovery must enforce strict controls on gillnetting, which could have significant benefits for other marine species of commercial and conservation interest. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Moore A.B.M.,RSK Environment Ltd
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2015

A total of 10 abnormal free-swimming (i.e. post-birth) elasmobranchs are reported from The (Persian-Arabian) Gulf, encompassing five species and including deformed heads, snouts, caudal fins and claspers. The complete absence of pelvic fins in a milk shark Rhizoprionodon acutus may be the first record in any elasmobranch. Possible causes, including the extreme environmental conditions and the high level of anthropogenic pollution particular to The Gulf, are briefly discussed. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. Source

White W.T.,CSIRO | Moore A.B.M.,Bangor University | Moore A.B.M.,RSK Environment Ltd
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

The eagle ray Aetobatus flagellum (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) is redescribed based on new material from the Persian Gulf (Kuwait), Indonesia and Malaysia. A related but distinct species of Aetobatus from the western North Pacific, previously referred to as A. flagellum, is reported. Aetobatus flagellum is a medium-sized eagle ray which attains about 900 mm DW; males mature at approximately 500 mm DW. Aetobatus flagellum appears to be uncommon and restricted to estuaryinfluenced waters of the Indo-West Pacific. It is caught as gillnet bycatch where its habit of schooling, combined with probable small litter size, may make it particularly vulnerable to impacts from fisheries. © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Moore A.B.M.,RSK Environment Ltd | Moore A.B.M.,Bangor University
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries | Year: 2012

Given widespread concern about the status of elasmobranch fishes globally, information on this group in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf is reviewed comprehensively for the first time. The Arabian region may be of overlooked significance to elasmobranch biogeography, and the environmentally unique Gulf has some highly distinctive elements of biodiversity: an endemic and critically endangered rajid skate, a rarely recorded carcharhinid shark, and preliminary molecular studies which indicate intriguing levels of distinctness from conspecifics elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific. Elasmobranchs also have a long history of association with, and exploitation by, humans around the Gulf. Despite this, Gulf elasmobranchs have been poorly researched, probably due to their low esteem as food. Information is scattered through a variety of literature, and only a handful of published works have been primarily concerned with aspects relevant to management. Key areas of concern include large reported landings by Iran; the export of fins to east Asian markets (particularly through the United Arab Emirates); potentially increasing demand for elasmobranchs for pharmaceutical products and human consumption; a reported change in elasmobranch community structure along the Iranian coast; and major degradation of the Gulf's shallow, semi-enclosed environment. Priorities for research in the near future should include: resolution of taxonomic issues; species-level monitoring and reporting of fisheries landings by all Gulf states (including the species, pathways and fisheries involved in the fin trade locally); establishing the degree of connectivity of Gulf populations to those in adjacent waterbodies; and identification of key spatio-temporal sensitivities. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Crofts D.B.,RSK Environment Ltd | Jasko I.,Technical Manager | Mayers G.,Sandberg LLP
Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials | Year: 2015

As part of the recent revision and update of Concrete Society Technical Report 32, a Concrete Society Working Group organised a laboratory trial in co-operation with 11 laboratories using their UK Accreditation Service-accredited methods for the chemical analysis of hardened concrete. The concrete samples were prepared by Hanson using four mixes, including variously CEM I, pulverised-fuel ash, ground granulated blast-furnace slag, insoluble and soluble aggregates as well as occasionally added chlorides. The findings of the trial were assessed in the second edition of Technical Report 32, which concluded that the trial had limitations but that the results raised concerns about the chemical methods in use. This briefing by three of the participants in the trial who were also members of the Working Group summarises some of its findings and outlines some positive suggestions to address the trial’s shortcomings, in order to allow a more realistic and helpful assessment of the methods that have been a vital tool for analysts and engineers for many decades. © 2015, Thomas Telford Services Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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