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Coryphaenoides rupestris 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Gadiformes Macrouridae

Scientific Name: Coryphaenoides rupestris Gunnerus, 1765
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Roundnose Grenadier, Black Grenadier, Blunt-nose Rattail, Rock Grenadier
French Grenadier de Roche
Spanish Granadero, Granadero de Roca

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A4bd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2012-07-11
Assessor(s): Iwamoto, T.
Reviewer(s): Strongin, K., Polidoro, B. & Carpenter, K.E.
Justification:
Coryphaenoides rupestris is distributed in the North Atlantic, from about 37°N to Baffin Island and Greenland in the western Atlantic, and off Iceland and Norway south to North Africa in the eastern Atlantic. It was reported to occur from the tongue of the Ocean east of Andros Islands (about 24°N, 77°W) in the Bahamas.

Roundnose Grenadier is one of the main target species of deepwater fisheries in the northeast Atlantic (Lorance et al. 2008). It is currently facing overexploitation in the North Atlantic. The commercial fishery for this species began in 1965, with 1,800 metric tonnes harvested globally and peaked in 1971 at 83,964 metric tonnes. The catch decreased thereafter; the most recent report (2010) is 7,611 metric tonnes (FAO FishStat). This represents a decline of 90% over 40 years.

In the northwest Atlantic, a moratorium has provided this species some protection since 1978 and since 1996 in Canadian waters (NAFO 2 and 3). However, recovery rates for this species have been estimated at 22-174 years under minimal fishing impacts (only as bycatch; Baker et al. in prep).

This species is slow-growing and long-lived. Maximum age attained from survey samples in the northeast Atlantic for Roundnose Grenadier is 60 years for females and 50 years for males (Clarke et al. 2003), maturation is at age 11 and a modest number (<57,000) of large eggs are produced (Alekseyev et al. 1992, Kelly et al. 1997). Generation length is therefore estimated to be approximately 20 years. Although fisheries statistics are only available for two generation lengths, we assume that the current rates of decline will continue over the next 20 years. Therefore, this species may be afforded some refuge from overexploitation in this part of its range. Globally, it is listed as Critically Endangered under criterion A (CR A4bd).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Coryphaenoides rupestris is distributed in the North Atlantic, from about 37°N to Baffin Island and Greenland in the western Atlantic, and off Iceland and Norway south to North Africa in the eastern Atlantic. It was reported to occur from the tongue of the Ocean east of Andros Islands (about 24°N, 77°W) in the Bahamas.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Bahamas; Canada; Denmark; Faroe Islands; France (France (mainland)); Greenland; Iceland; Ireland; Morocco; Norway; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; United Kingdom; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):2600
Upper depth limit (metres):180
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The commercial fishery for this species began in 1965, with 1,800 metric tonnes harvested globally and peaked in 1971 at 83,964 metric tonnes. The catch decreased thereafter; the most recent report (2010) is 7,611 metric tonnes (FAO FishStat). This represents a decline of 90.6% over 40 years.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Coryphaenoides rupestris is a benthopelagic to bathypelagic species that has a depth range of 180-2,600 m (Coad and Riest 2004). They form large schools in depths of 600-900 m. They feed on a variety of fish and invertebrates, but primarily on pelagic crustaceans such as shrimps, amphipods and cumaceans; cephalopods and lantern fishes constitute a lesser portion of their diet. Maximum length recorded is 110 cm total length (TL) (Muus and Nielsen 1999). Maximum weight recorded is 1,690 g (IGFA). Maximum reported age is 54 years (Allain and Lorance 2000). This species is a batch spawner (Murua and Saborido-Rey 2003). Length at first maturity is 50.5 cm. This species is slow-growing and long-lived. Maximum age attained from survey samples in the Northeast Atlantic for Roundnose Grenadier is 60 years for females and 50 years for males (Clarke et al. 2003), maturation is at age 11 and a modest number, <57,000, of large eggs are produced (Alekseyev et al. 1992, Kelly et al. 1997). Generation length is therefore estimated to be approximately 20 years.
Systems:Marine
Generation Length (years):20

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is over-exploited in the North Atlantic (Frimodt 1995).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Coryphaenoides rupestris is one of the main target species of deepwater fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic (Lorance et al. 2008). It is currently facing overexploitation in the North Atlantic. The flesh of this valuable commercial fish is of excellent texture and taste, and is consumed directly. The fisheries for this species is by factory stern trawlers, which may fish as deep as 1,300 m (Cohen et al. 1990).

The commercial fishery for this species began in 1965, with 1,800 metric tonnes harvested globally and peaked in 1971 at 83,964 metric tonnes  The catch decreased thereafter; the most recent report (2010) is 7,611 metric tonnes (FAO FishStat). This represents a decline of 90% over 40 years. However, in the eastern Atlantic portion of its range it is not fished as heavily. Therefore, this species may be afforded some refuge from over-exploitation in this part of its range.

Landings of Roundnose Grenadier peaked in the early 1970s at approximately 80,000 metric tons and then declined abruptly (Koslow et al. 2000). As with many new fisheries, the initial quota was set quite high but was never achieved. As catches declined, subsequent quota revisions and reductions were not based on any particular biological or assessment information, primarily because that information was severely lacking (Atkinson 1995). The number of biological papers concerning the species were very few and most basic biological information was not gathered until 15–25 years after the fishery began (Haedrich et al. 2001). By the early 1990s, the fishery in the Northwest Atlantic was no longer commercially viable and came to a halt.

The Canadian survey data have been claiming (in litt.) to be non-representative because they sample only the edge of the population, an unwarranted and troubling assumption. Conservation ecology has shown that trouble at the edge of a range presages trouble over the entire range (Channell and Lomolino 2000, Fraser 2000). Furthermore, deep populations of slope species are not separate from shallow ones because of ontogenetic migrations. Coryphaenoides move up and down the slope seasonally, migrating to shallower water at the end of summer and shifting deeper in winter (Dushchenko and Savvatimsky 1987,Paz and Iglesias 1994). Macrourus also migrate seasonally (Paz and Iglesias 1994) and follow the ‘bigger–deeper’ rule in the northwest Atlantic, with smaller juveniles generally occurring shallower than the larger adults (Savvatimsky and Gorchinsky 2001). Savvatimsky and Gorchinsky (2001) hypothesized that Roughhead Grenadier in NAFO Divisions 0B2GHJ3KLMN are a single stock based on size age composition, although the isolation of the Flemish Cap from the Grand Banks by the cold waters of the Labrador Current render this conclusion questionable.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has been listed as Endangered in Canada (Devine et al. 2006). Given the dramatic declines in global catch over three generation lengths, future monitoring and reduction in catch is recommended. It has been suggested that increasing mesh sizes would be an efficient management strategy to avoid the discards of smaller individuals (Lorance and Dupouy 2001). This is a UK priority species in the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (retrieved 21-12-55).

Citation: Iwamoto, T. 2015. Coryphaenoides rupestris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T15522149A15603540. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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