Calamus bajonado 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Sparidae

Scientific Name: Calamus bajonado (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Jolthead Porgy, Blue Bone Porgy, Pogri Grunt
French Daubenet Trembleur, Diol Pas Bleu
Spanish Bajonado, Bajonao Violáceo, Cachicachi, Cachicato Bocacolorà, Caricacha, Pluma, Pluma Bajonado
Sparus bajonado Bloch & Schneider, 1801

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2011-03-30
Assessor(s): Russell, B., Carpenter, K.E., MacDonald, T. & Vega-Cendejas, M.
Reviewer(s): Sedberry, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Comeros-Raynal, M. & Gorman, C.

Calamus bajonado
is a widely distributed species in the Western Atlantic where it is common and locally abundant throughout most of its range. This species occurs in a suite of habitats, from seagrasses, sandy substrates, and coral reef habitats over a wide depth range (zero to 200 m). The Jolthead Porgy is a component of commercial and recreational fisheries; in Cuba it is a minor component of the coastal fishery. In Mexico, aggregate catch landings that include a number of species together with Sheepshead have shown stable catches from 2002-2011. There have been recorded declines reported from Cuba, however, there are no effort data available to correspond to the declines in catch landings. The Jolthead Porgy is managed by the US South Atlantic Fishery Management Council for areas three to 200 miles off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida. Regulations include a porgy aggregate annual catch limit (ACL), a bag limit for the recreational fishery and an aggregate porgy ACL for the commercial fishery (2014). Its distribution overlaps with several marine protected areas within its range. Given that it is widespread and locally abundant, currently it is not at a high risk of extinction in the near future and is therefore listed as Least Concern. 

Gulf of Mexico   

In the Gulf of Mexico, Calamus bajonado is one of the most abundant sparids, and can be very common in parts of the region. It is of minor fishery importance in the region and is not federally managed. It is listed as Least Concern. However, population trends in the Gulf need to be re-evaluated given the threats to its habitats in the region and the documented declines reported from Cuba.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Calamus bajonado is found throughout the Western Central Atlantic, from Rhode Island southward to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The depth range for this species is three to 200 m (Smith 1997).
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Brazil; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; French Guiana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Martinique; Mexico; Montserrat; Nicaragua; Panama; Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):200
Upper depth limit (metres):3
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Calamus bajonado is most common in the Antilles, Florida Keys and on the Campeche Bay (Carpenter 2002). On Campeche Bank, this species is one of the most abundant sparids along with C. nodosus and C. proridens (Darcy 1986). It is very common off Mexico (M. Vega-Cendejas pers. comm. 2014). Commercial landings for the Atlantic and Gulf states of the U.S. show a general increasing trend from 1993-2012, with a peak in 2012 at 9.8 metric tons (National Marine Fisheries Service, accessed 6 March 2014).  Recreational landings for the Jolthead Porgy from 1981-2013 show a decreasing trend (harvest by total weight in lbs.) (NOAA NMFS Marine Recreational Information Program,

Landings by region


Combined landings of Calamus bajonado and Calamus calamus from 1975 to 1990 show stable trends over the years. There was a significant decline in total porgy landings following the fish trap ban. There was also indication of decline in landings in the 1980s following the die-off of Diadema antillarum, a preferred prey item of Calamus bajonado (Luckhurst and Ward 1996).

Gulf of Mexico 

FAO catch landings from 1962-2011 of Calamus spp. in Cuba and Mexico indicate a decreasing trend over the last 29 years. In Cuba, aggregate landings reported for Calamus are dominated by Calamus bajonado and Calamus calamus. Mean catch from 1986-1990 was 446.1 metric tons; this declined to 290 metric tons from 2001-2005 (35% decrease in landings over 15 years) (R. Claro pers. comm. 2014). Fish visual surveys in reefs off northern Cuba between 1988-2000, show a decrease of 71% on crest reefs for C. bajonado. For C. calamus, there was a 100% decrease (zero observations in 2000). On fore reefs, C. bajonado decreased by 89% and C. calamus by 100% (zero observations in 2000). In Cuba, fishery-independent surveys indicate an average decrease of 80% over 12 years (R. Claro pers. comm. 2014).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Calamus bajonado is found on vegetated sand bottoms and more frequently on coral bottoms and hard bottoms. Large adults are usually solitary. It feeds mainly on sea urchins, crabs and molluscs (Carpenter 2002). This species was found to be more abundant in patch reefs in Cuba (R. Claro pers. comm. 2014). The maximum size recorded is 76 cm (FL) (male) (South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, accessed 6 March 2014).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Calamus bajonado is caught with bottom longlines (Cuba), with bottom trawls, and on hook and line (Carpenter 2002). It is also a component of recreational fisheries in the United States (South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, accessed 6 March 2014).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Calamus bajonado may be negatively impacted by habitat degradation in parts of its distribution and some localized declines from directed fishing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Calamus bajonado is managed by the US South Atlantic Fishery Management Council for areas three to 200 miles off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida (US). Regulations include a porgy aggregate (i.e., Jolthead, Knobbed, Saucereye, Whitebone, Scup) an ACL of 106,914 lbs. and a bag limit (20 aggregate Snapper/Grouper bag limit) for the recreational fishery and a 36,348-lb. aggregate porgy ACL for the commercial fishery (2014) (South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, accessed 6 March 2014; NOAA Fisheries 2014, accessed June 2014). It is present in several marine protected areas within its range (World Database on Protected Areas, accessed 4 March 2014).

Citation: Russell, B., Carpenter, K.E., MacDonald, T. & Vega-Cendejas, M. 2014. Calamus bajonado. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T170190A1289896. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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