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Strongylura marina

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII BELONIFORMES BELONIDAE

Scientific Name: Strongylura marina
Species Authority: (Walbaum, 1792)
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic Needlefish, Silver Gar, Billfish, Bluebone, Garfish, Green Gar, Harvest Pike, Northern Needlefish, Saltwater Gar, Sea Pike, Agujon, Silvery Gar, Swordfish
French Aiguillette Verte
Spanish Agujón, Agujón del Atlantico, Agujónpo, Agujon Verde, Marao, Marao de Laguna
Synonym(s):
Belone almeida Quoy & Gaimard, 1824
Belone galeata Valenciennes, 1846
Belone scrutator Girard, 1858
Belone timucu Valenciennes, 1846
Belone truncata Lesueur, 1821
Esox houttuyni Walbaum, 1792
Esox longirostris Mitchill, 1818
Esox marinus Walbaum, 1792

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-04
Assessor(s): Collen, B., Dewhurst, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.
Justification:
The Atlantic Needlefish, Strongylura marina, has been assessed as Least Concern. This broadly distributed species is harvested as a food source, however it is not a highly desired food fish and so is not of commercial importance. It is likely to be taken as by-catch by other fisheries operating within its range, although this is likely to be a localised threat only. This species is unlikely to be impacted by habitat degradation as it is known from a broad range of habitats. Further research is needed on the biology of this species to determine its vulnerability to fishing pressure.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Atlantic Needlefish (Strongylura marina) is present in the western Atlantic from Maine to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, but is absent from the Bahamas and the Antilles.
Countries:
Native:
Brazil; Colombia; French Guiana; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Suriname; United States (Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia); Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is moderately commmon (FAO 2002).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Atlantic Needlefish, Strongylura marina, is found on reefs in subtropical climates, mangrove lined lagoons and seagrass beds. It is also known to enter freshwaters. Adults and juvenilles are mainly piscovorous, with shrimp being an important food component in the rainy season (Arceo-Carranza et al. 2004). Eggs attach to items in the waters by surface tendrils. The depth range if this fish is unknown.
Systems: Freshwater; Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Fishing only occurs where this species attains a large size (Arceo-Carranza 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Atlantic Needlefish is commercially harvested, but consumption is restricted to local areas where this species attains a large size (Arceo-Carranza et al. 2004). This species is mainly caught as a bait source for marlin sport fishing. It is caught by casting or trolling surface or near-surface lures, seines, trammel nets, and by using light as a lure. This species is not of significant commercial importance as the green bones are not considered favourable.

Due to the coastal nature and large size of this species, it is likely to be taken as by-catch by coastal fisheries operating within its range. However, this is not considered to be a major threat to this species as this threat is not known throughout its entire range. There is no evidence to suggest that this species is undergoing a significant population decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species, however its distribution may coincide with a number of marine protected areas.

Further research on the biology of this species is needed.

Citation: Collen, B., Dewhurst, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team) 2010. Strongylura marina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 November 2014.
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