One of the greatest threats to the spiny angel shark is from overfishing off the South American coast. As the spiny angel shark is a bottom dweller, it is especially prone to being caught by gillnets and bottom trawling (1).
As there is very little movement between different populations, the spiny angel shark is prone to local extinction. Intensive fishing occurs in the shallow nursery grounds, and pregnant female spiny angel sharks may to abort embryos when caught, further contributing to the population decline (1).
The Brazilian population of spiny angel sharks decreased by 85 percent between 2002 and 1984, as a result of overfishing using gillnet methods (1).