Following authorship determined alphabetically.
Fishing groupers towards extinction: a global assessment of threats and extinction risks in a billion dollar fishery
Article first published online: 28 APR 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Fish and Fisheries
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 119–136, June 2013
How to Cite
Sadovy de Mitcheson, Y., Craig, M. T., Bertoncini, A. A., Carpenter, K. E., Cheung, W. W. L., Choat, J. H., Cornish, A. S., Fennessy, S. T., Ferreira, B. P., Heemstra, P. C., Liu, M., Myers, R. F., Pollard, D. A., Rhodes, K. L., Rocha, L. A., Russell, B. C., Samoilys, M. A. and Sanciangco, J. (2013), Fishing groupers towards extinction: a global assessment of threats and extinction risks in a billion dollar fishery. Fish and Fisheries, 14: 119–136. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2011.00455.x
- Issue published online: 13 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2012
- Received 15 Apr 2011 Accepted 16 Dec 2011
- IUCN Red List;
- marine extinction;
- marine biodiversity;
- population decline
Groupers are a valuable fishery resource of reef ecosystems and are among those species most vulnerable to fishing pressure because of life history characteristics including longevity, late sexual maturation and aggregation spawning. Despite their economic importance, few grouper fisheries are regularly monitored or managed at the species level, and many are reported to be undergoing declines. To identify major threats to groupers, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria were applied to all 163 species. Red List assessments show that 20 species (12%) risk extinction if current trends continue, and an additional 22 species (13%) are considered to be Near Threatened. The Caribbean Sea, coastal Brazil and Southeast Asia contain a disproportionate number of Threatened species, while numerous poorly documented and Near Threatened species occur in many regions. In all, 30% of all species are considered to be Data Deficient. Given that the major threat is overfishing, accompanied by a general absence and/or poor application of fishery management, the prognosis for restoration and successful conservation of Threatened species is poor. We believe that few refuges remain for recovery and that key biological processes (e.g. spawning aggregations) continue to be compromised by uncontrolled fishing. Mariculture, through hatchery-rearing, increases production of a few species and contributes to satisfying high market demand, but many such operations depend heavily on wild-caught juveniles with resultant growth and recruitment overfishing. Better management of fishing and other conservation efforts are urgently needed, and we provide examples of possible actions and constraints.