Starry smooth-hound, Mustelus asterias
Pencil on paper
Artist: Caitlin Jones
The starry smooth-hound is a small shark species, growing to a size of up to 4ft. They are most commonly found around the south and west of England though their range is increasing. Their expanding range is helped by the fact that they are not commonly eaten in the UK and so not targeted commercially by British vessels. Smooth-hound are caught on a strict catch-and-release basis by almost all anglers. The starry smooth hound is of Least Concern, according to the IUCN Red List. Over the last few years there has been considerable debate over exactly which species of smooth-hound are present in British waters. While it is still widely believed that both common and starry smooth-hounds are found around the UK there is growing evidence that it is not the case. The theory is that the spots (which give the starry smooth-hound its name) on the back of the smooth-hound are not an accurate way of determining species, and it is in fact only the starry-smooth hound which are found in the UK – some with distinctive starry spots and some with no spots at all! Data source: British Sea Fishing, IUCN
About the artist: Caitlin used pencil on paper to draw her fish. She enjoyed trying to capture the distinctive spots of the starry smooth-hound, and attempting her first proper drawing in 15 years.