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Mycteroperca olfax

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES EPINEPHELIDAE

Scientific Name: Mycteroperca olfax
Species Authority: (Jenyns, 1840)
Common Name(s):
English Colorado Grouper, Mangrove, Sailfin Grouper, Sea Bass, Yellow Grouper
French Merou Voile
Spanish Bacalao, Cabrillejo, Cherna, Garropa Parda, Mero
Synonym(s):
Serranus olfax Jenyns, 1840

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Bertoncini, A.A., Gerhardinger, L.C., Sadovy, Y., Rocha, L., Choat, J.H., Ferreira, B. & Craig, M.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Justification:
Mycteroperca olfax is listed as Vulnerable (VU) because of its restricted range. Found only at three island or island-group locations. Clear evidence of fisheries declines are shown and continued fishing is an ever-present threat to the species.
History:
1996 Vulnerable (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Mycteroperca olfax is distributed in the eastern Pacific from the Isla del Coco off Costa Rica, Malpello of Colombia and the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador). Reports from Panama and Peru have been discounted.

The species is present in all biogeographical regions of the Galápagos Islands (Edgar et al. 2004, McCosker and Rosenblatt 1975, Heemstra and Randall 1993). It is rare in other islands within its distribution.

A single specimen has recently been reported from the coast of Ecuador (Bearez and Prado 2003).
Countries:
Native:
Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: General
Mycteroperca olfax is common in the Galapagos Islands, but rare at other island sites within its range, with the size and the percentage of captured individuals within the fisheries decreasing (Marconi et al. 2001).

Density and Biomass
In the Galapagos, the estimated density of individuals is 2.97/500 m² within the marine reserve area, 2.86/500 m² in the tourism area and 2.6/500 m² in the fishing zone (Edgar et al. 2004).

The biomass (g/150 m²) of Mycteroperca olfax in lightly fished areas of the Galapagos was 2,959 (±413/±1SE) and 133 (±79.6), while density in lightly fished areas was 0.76 (+-0.096) and in heavily fished areas was 0.06 (±0.042) (Ruttenberg 2001).

Trends
A decade ago, M. olfax was the most valuable and exploited fish in the Galapagos Islands artisanal fishery (Kasteleijin 1987), comprising over 40% of the catch (Reck 1983). Now, this species comprises <20% of the catch, and fishers indicate that the CPUE and average individual size have declined (Bustamente 1988).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: General
Mycteroperca olfax is found among rock walls, rocky reef drop-off, underwater lava ridges, and all kinds of well-structured vertical rock formations (Reck 1983). Juveniles are found in shallow sandy lagoons (Heemstra and Randall 1993) and in seagrass beds, mangrove lagoons, shallow lava reefs and inland lava ponds. Adults are mainly piscivorous, prey size increasing with predator size (Reck 1983).

Maturity
First maturation occurs at 47.5 cm and at four-years of age, with sex inversion at 83.1 cm, possibly at 12 years of age. The species has an annual reproduction cycle, with spawning peaks in October and December (Coello and Grimm 1993).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Artisanal Fisheries: known to be consumed in the Galapagos by locals and exported to Equador (Marconi et al. 2001, Fundación AZTI 2003). The most traditional and important fishery 20 years ago was for demersal fish, such as the endemic Sailfin (Galapagos) grouper Mycteroperca olfax, but this fishery has dwindled, largely due to the much higher market value of lobsters and sea cucumbers (Hearn 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): General
The restricted range of Mycteroperca olfax makes it particularly vulnerable to any threat.

Fisheries
Although Mycteroperca olfax suffered a decrease from 30% to 11% of the total Galapagos capture fishery in 2000 (Guime, M.P. 2003). Nicolaides et al. (2002) report that the 2000 decrease reflected a change in the targeted resources (from April to December), with a shift in focus to sea cucumber and lobster (more profitable fisheries). Today, Mycteroperca olfax accounts for approximately 5% of the total annual Galapagos catch by value (Nicolaides et al. 2002; Edgar et al. 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Mycteroperca olfax is present within the Galapagos Marine Reserve, Ecuador. Cocos Island is protected but improved management is needed. There are no measures specific to Mycteroperca olfax.

Citation: Bertoncini, A.A., Gerhardinger, L.C., Sadovy, Y., Rocha, L., Choat, J.H., Ferreira, B. & Craig, M. 2008. Mycteroperca olfax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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