Did you know that all 3 known thresher shark species are intended for the CITES Appendix II by September?
Like the common thresher and the bigeye thresher, the pelagic thresher is considered vulnerable by the IUCN and will hopefully get the protection against overfishing it deserves.
The pelagic thresher (Alopias pelagicus) lives in the open ocean all over the tropical to subtropical Indo-Pacific. Sometimes it has been observed in shallow water (near coral reef drop offs or in lagoons), perhaps to visit cleaning stations. Often confused with other threshers, the pelagic thresher is up to 10 ft -3 m- long (in average) and usually shy. It is an active, strong swimmer and often leaps out of the water (once five times in succession).
Females reach maturity at 9.2 ft – 2.8 m – long and presumably eight years old, males at 8.9 ft -2.7 m – long and seven years old. The female is ovoviviparous and gives birth to two pups at a time, one per uterus. The developing embryos are at first sustained by a yolk sac and later by egg capsules produced by the mother (Oophagy). Young pelagic threshers are born at 43% the length of the mother (up to 5.2 ft -1.6 m- long). They reach this length without feeding on their siblings like the embryos of the sand tiger shark do.
Pelagic threshers are frequently taken as bycatch on longlines and in driftnets, but also targeted recreationally as big game fish. Commercial longline fisheries catch it intentionally, too. (Once) abundant off northeastern Taiwan, it comprises for instance over 12% of the annual Taiwanese shark landings. The meat is sold for human consumption, the skin is made into leather, and the fins are used for shark fin soup. The squalene in the liver oil of the pelagic thresher can comprise 10% of its weight, and is used in the manufacture of cosmetics, health foods, and high-grade machine oil.