Boops boops 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Sparidae

Scientific Name: Boops boops (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Bogue, Bream
French Bogue
Spanish Boga
Boops canariensis Valenciennes, 1839
Box boops (Linnaeus, 1758)
Box canariensis (Valenciennes, 1839)
Box vulgaris Valenciennes, 1830
Sparus boops Linnaeus, 1758

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2009-08-14
Assessor(s): Pollard, D., Carpenter, K.E. & Russell, B.
Reviewer(s): de Morais, L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Comeros-Raynal, M. & Gorman, C.

Boops boops
is a very common and ubiquitous species. Catch landings figures, indicate a stable population despite fairly heavy exploitation. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. There is little information available for this species outside of the Mediterranean. It appears to be common in trawl surveys along the coast of west Africa; however, the level of exploitation is unknown other than it is caught in artisanal fishery. We recommend further monitoring of this species' population status along the west African coast.


Boops boops is a common species in the Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. Although it is heavily exploited, the population appears to be stable. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Boops boops is found in the Eastern Atlantic and is known from southern Norway and the British Isles southwards to Angola, including the Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands and Sao Tome-Principe. It is common throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea (Tortonese 1978; Fricke et al. 2007; Vasil'eva 2007; Wirtz et al. 2007, 2013). This species can occur to 350 m depth (Sanches 1991).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Angola; Belgium; Benin; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Denmark; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; France; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Malta; Mauritania; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; Portugal; Romania; Sao Tomé and Principe; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Slovenia; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):350
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Boops boops is ubiquitous and common throughout the coastal waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Atlantic. FAO statistics (2007) list annual Mediterranean landings of this species between 1950 and 2005 as ranging from 8,300 tonnes to 33,491 tonnes. Recent landings figures show a relatively stable annual catch ranging from around 23,000 to 30,000 mt. It constitutes about 2.3% of the total Egyptian Mediterranean Sea fish catch (General authority for fish resources development 2003). In Angola, B. boops appears in low biomass in trawl surveys (Bianchi 1992). This species is also very common in Portuguese waters and is of low commercial and recreational value, often discarded at sea. Catches reached 269 tonnes in 2000, comprising c. 11% of total landings of seabreams (Monteiro et al. 2006).

Boops boops was a common species in the 1976 surveys with about 19% of the total catch in the October coverage (Stromme 1983). The best catch of B. boops was made off Cape Oulassa, 188 kg (372 kg/hour) in a survey conducted in Algerian coastal waters (Aglen and Myklevoll 1982). In a study assessing the influence of two commercial fish farms on the local aggregation of coastal wild fishes at Gran Canaria Island (Canary Islands), B. boops was one of the most abundant species recorded. Species that were particularly attracted to farms were species that usually school in open water (B. boops and S. viridensis) (Boyra et al. 2004). Boops boops comprises the dominant catch in commercial landings on the Alexandria coast (Allam et al. 1998), is the most abundant species in the local markets at Alexandria and is the most dominant landed sparid throughout the year, accounting for 17.5 % of the catch in winter, 31% in spring, 31.8% in the summer and 25% in the fall (Abdel-Rahman 2003, El-Agamy et al. 2004). In Maltese fishing ports, Boops boops amounted to 88% of the trap total catch, 3.79% of the total trammel net catch from January to September 2003. It is one of the major small-pelagic species caught in Maltese waters by vessels under 10 m length (Muscat 2004).

Captures from the sea-cage farms along the coast of the Turkish Aegean Sea, were determined with the use of a special cage trap and trammel net. Hand or longlines and underwater harpoons, although rare, were also in use. This species was dominant and accounted for 48.9% of the total weight of one fish farm from 2004-2008 (Akyol and Ertosluk 2010). In 2012, Spain had the largest commercial catch of B. boops at 13,465  tonnes followed by Algeria (6,467 tonnes), Morocco (3,651 tonnes), and Egypt (3,625 tonnes) (FAO 2007). 

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

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Boops boops is a gregarious, demersal, semi-pelagic species found as deep as 350 m over a variety of substrata including sand, mud, rocks and seaweeds, though it is more common at depths of less than 150 m and sometimes in coastal waters. This species moves in aggregations, ascending to the surface mainly at night. In the northern part of the area, spawning takes place from March to May (Carpenter in press). There is some uncertainty concerning the reproduction and hermaphroditism of this species (Girardin 1981). This species was originally believed to be a rudimentary hermaphrodite (Buxton and Garratt 1990) but results from Monteiro et al. (2006) found hermaphroditic individuals in a wide range of length classes which supports the conclusion of Girardin (1981) and Gordo (1992, 1995) that B. boops is a diandric species. The spawning season extends from January to May. The peak value of gonadosomatic index was attained in February for both males and females. Length at first sexual maturity is 12 cm for males and 13 cm for females. Relative fecundity ranges from 288 to 584 eggs per g (El-Agamy et al. 2004).

Boops boops attains its maximum size slowly and can live to seven years. Boops boops was revealed to grow quickly in length during the first year of life reaching 53.49 % of its final growth, followed by a reduced growth rate that coincided with sexual maturity which is attained between one and three years of age at about 15.2 cm (Allam 2003, Khemiri et al. 2005, Monteiro et al. 2006). The maximum recorded size for this species is 36 cm (Fischer et al. 1987).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: A moderately abundant species, but not intensively fished in the eastern central Atlantic and scarcely exploited in the Gulf of Guinea. This species is caught on line gear, with bottom trawls and purse seines and also with beach seines and trammel nets. It is marketed fresh frozen, dried-salted or smoked. This species is also used for fishmeal and oil and commonly as bait in tuna fisheries (Carpenter in press). Boop boops is caught by many fish farmers and artisanal fishermen in the Turkish Aegean Sea beneath the floating sea-cages using trammel nets, handline or longlines and traps (Akyol and Ertosluk 2010). This species is frequently discarded at sea by commercial fisheries (Borges et al. 2001, Vázquez-Rowe et al. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for Boops boops. There may be localized declines from fishing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Boops boops; however, this species occurs in several marine protected areas within its range (World Database of Protected Areas, accessed March 2014). It is recommended that more genetic research be done for the management of this species particularly along the west African coast where little data exists.

Citation: Pollard, D., Carpenter, K.E. & Russell, B. 2014. Boops boops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T170251A1301787. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided