Chrysoblephus anglicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Sparidae

Scientific Name: Chrysoblephus anglicus (Gilchrist & Thompson, 1908)
Common Name(s):
English Englishman Seabream, Englishman
French Spare Du Natal
Spanish Sargo Del Natal, Sargo De Natal
Chrysophrys anglicus Gilchrist & Thompson, 1908

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2009-10-12
Assessor(s): Mann, B.Q., Buxton, C.D. & Carpenter, K.E.
Reviewer(s): Russell, B. & Pollard, D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Gorman, C. & Comeros-Raynal, M.
Chrysoblephus anglicus is the fifth most important reef fish caught in the commercial line fishery off Kwazulu-Natal. There are no clear trends in CPUE, relative proportion in total linefish catch and mean size. However, a per-recruit stock assessment showed that the stock had "collapsed" according to the Marine Linefish Management Protocol, with SB/R = 17% (F=0). There is evidence that this species is becoming increasingly targeted in KwaZulu-Natal because of serial depletion of other preferred linefish species. The total commercial catch for this species has declined by ~70% from 1987-2007, nearing the threshold for a threatened category. It is an endemic species with a relatively narrow distributional range, and is a suspected protogynous hermaphrodite in which the sex ratio of the mature population has become skewed in favour of females and is increasingly targeted in KwaZulu-Natal. Per recruit stock assessments have shown a decline of at least 30% over the past 20-30 years based on estimated per recruit analyses at 17% (<25% is considered to be collapsed). However, major trends have not been observed and there are multiple management measures in place for this species. Therefore, despite a major reduction, this species is listed as Near Threatened (A2bd).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Chrysoblephus anglicus is endemic to the area between the mouth of the Limpopo River, in southern Mozambique, and Algoa Bay in South Africa (Bauchot and Smith 1984, Smith and Heemstra 1986, Heemstra and Heemstra 2004) with the main stock assumed to occur between southern Mozambique and the former Transkei (van der Elst and Adkin 1991). This species has a depth range of 10 to 120 m (Garratt et al. 1994).
Countries occurrence:
Mozambique; South Africa
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):120
Upper depth limit (metres):10
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


The C. anglicus stock is considered to be collapsed with a spawning biomass per recruit estimated at ~17% (Mann et al. 2005). A slight increase in catch per unit effort (CPUE) was observed from 58 kg per man per year (1940–1941) to 64 kg per man per year (1985–1992) (Garratt et al. 1994). As a proportion of the total commercial KwaZulu-Natal line fish catch, this species increased from 1.5% for the period 1940 to 1941 to 6% for 1985 to 1992 (Garratt et al. 1994). Mean size decreased slightly from 35 cm FL (1979–1981) to 34.3 cm FL (1990-92) (Garratt et al. 1994) but increased back to 35 cm FL in 2003 (Mann et al. 2005). Reported commercial catches of C. anglicus increased slightly in standardized CPUE from 0.28 kg per man per hour in 1985 to 0.34 kg per man per hour in 2007 (National Marine Linefish System unpublished data). The total commercial catch for this species has declined from a peak of about 70 tonnes in 1987 to an average of about 20 tonnes from 2004–2007. Using targeted effort data, there was no significant upward or downward trend in abundance over a 25 year period since 1985.

Male:Female sex ratio recorded on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast in 2003 (1:25, Mann et al. 2005) had changed from 1:14 recorded by Garratt et al. (1994). Differences in M:F sex ratios observed along the KwaZulu-Natal coast suggest that more male fish occur in the northern areas (e.g. 1:3.7 north of Richards Bay) compared to 1:14 south of Ramsgate (Garratt et al. 1994). Similarly, the mean size of fish sampled at Richards Bay (39.1 cm FL) were significantly larger than those sampled on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast (35 cm FL) (Mann et al. 2005). Male: Female sex ratio in St Lucia Marine Reserve was reported to be 1:3.7 while it was 1:4.0 on KwaZulu-Natal south coast (Fennessy et al. 2000). This species is an unconfirmed protogynous hermaphrodite with an exploited sex ratio strongly skewed in favour of females (Garratt et al. 1994, Mann et al. 2005). 

Commercial data show that since 2000 commercial fishing effort has declined dramatically in the South African line fishery from approximately 3,000 to 450 vessels in line with the long-term fisheries rights allocation process implemented in 2006 (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 2012).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Chrysoblephus anglicus adults inhabit offshore reefs between 20 and 120 m depth while juveniles occur over shallow subtidal and rocky reefs from 10 to 30 m depth (Mann et al. 2006). This species is a benthic carnivore, feeding primarily on crustaceans and molluscs (Garratt et al. 1994). Limited tagging data indicates that C. anglicus is a highly resident species (ORI Tagging Project unpublished data). The maximum recorded age for this species is 17 years (Mann et al. 2005), with a maximum length of 80 cm TL (van der Elst 1993), and a maximum weight of 7 kg (South African Deep Sea Angling Association 2012). 


Chrysoblephus anglicus is believed to be a protogynous hermaphrodite but this has yet to be confirmed (Garratt et al. 1994, Mann et al. 2005). Spawning data are limited but this species appears to have an extended spawning season during winter and spring (Garratt et al 1994, Mann et al. 2005). Age at 50% maturity is estimated to be seven years (Mann et al. 2005) based on the approximate length at maturity which is 40 cm TL (van der Elst 1993). Few reproductively active fish have been sampled but, based on the occurrence of ripe individuals, spawning is thought to occur from June to November (Garratt et al. 1994).

Generation length for C. anglicus is estimated to be nine years, using the following equation for a protogynous fish species: Generation length =SR* (Σxlxmx/Σlxmx)+(Σlxmx/Σlxmx)
Generation Length (years):9

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In KwaZulu-Natal, Chrysoblephus anglicus is an important species in the commercial and recreational skiboat fisheries (Mann et al. 1997, Dunlop and Mann 2013) particularly on the south coat of KwaZulu-Natal (Garratt et al. 1994, Mann et al. 2005). This species is also taken by competitive spearfishers (Mann et al. 1997). Chrysoblephus anglicus contributes approximately 6% of the total commercial linefish catch in KwaZulu-Natal and a total catch of 49.7 tonnes was reported in 1992 (Garratt et al. 1994). Chrysoblephus anglicus also comprises approximately 4.7% of the total commercial catch in southern Mozambique taken by lineboats operating out of Maputo (van der Elst et al. 1994). Historic data show that while CPUE and catch composition has increased slightly, this is thought to be due to a change in targeting (Garratt et al. 1994). The sex ratio has been heavily skewed towards females due to the removal of larger male fish, especially on the lower KwaZulu-Natal south coast. Based on this information and the stock assessment undertaken by Mann et al. (2005), a precautionary approach has been taken with regard to the management of this potentially vulnerable species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Chrysoblephus anglicus is vulnerable to overexploitation by line-fishing due to its relatively limited distribution (Smith and Heemstra 1986), slow growth rate and late maturity (Mann et al. 2005). In addition, there is evidence that this species is becoming increasingly targeted in KwaZulu-Natal because of serial depletion of other preferred linefish species (B. Mann pers. comm. 2009). The risk of overexploitation may be further exacerbated because it is thought to be a protogynous hermaphrodite with its reproductive capacity having been reduced by the removal of larger (male) fish, especially on the lower KwaZulu-Natal south coast. Increased targeting of this species has resulted in high fishing mortality which has led to the "collapse" of the stock as defined by the South African Linefish Managment Protocol (<25% SBPR) (Griffiths et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The first conservation actions for this species were implemented in South African legislation in 1984 and included a daily bag limit of five fish per person per day (regulations in terms of the Sea Fisheries Act No. 58 of 1973). Amendments were made to this legislation in April 2005 whereby the daily bag limit for recreational fishers was reduced to two fish per person per day and a minimum size of 40 cm TL implemented for all fishers while there is no commercial bag restriction (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 2012). Based on spawning biomass per recruit model predictions, effective implementation of these later regulations should result in stock rebuilding (Mann et al. 2005). In addition to traditional fisheries management, a number of large no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) have been established along the South African coast and are likely to provide important protection for the resident populations of this species (B. Mann pers. obs.). One of the most recent MPAs to be established was the Pondoland MPA between Port Edward and Port St Johns and extending out to the 1,000 m depth contour (Mann et al. 2006) primarily for the protection of overexploited endemic linefish species found in the area including C. anglicus (Mann et al. 2006). The catch and effort for C. anglicus should be carefully monitored and the ongoing monitoring of MPA effectiveness for the protection of this species should also be continued (Mann and Garratt 2011).

Citation: Mann, B.Q., Buxton, C.D. & Carpenter, K.E. 2014. Chrysoblephus anglicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T170194A1290755. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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