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Scomberomorus commerson

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES SCOMBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Scomberomorus commerson
Species Authority: (Lacepède, 1800)
Common Name(s):
English Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel
French Thazard Rayé Indo-pacifique, Gros Prêtre
Spanish Carita del Indo-Pacifico, Carite Estriado Indo-Pacífico
Synonym(s):
Cybium commersoni (Lacepède, 1800)
Cybium commersonii (Lacepède, 1800)
Cybium konam Bleeker, 1851
Cybium multifasciatum Kishinouye, 1915
Scomber commerson Lacepède, 1800
Scomber commersonii Lacepède, 1800
Scomber maculosus Shaw, 1803
Scomberomorus commersoni (Lacepède, 1800)
Scomberomorus commersonii (Lacepède, 1800)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-05
Assessor(s): Collette, B., Chang, S.-K., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Juan Jorda, M., Miyabe, N. & Nelson, R.
Reviewer(s): Russell, B. & Polidoro, B.
Justification:
This species is widespread in the Indo-West Pacific, and is targeted in commercial and recreational fisheries in many parts of its range. Several sub-regional stock assessment in the Western Indian Ocean report this species to be heavily overexploited, with some estimates of fishing mortality in the Arabian Gulf between two and four times over the optimum. In India, its current exploitation rate is estimated to be 60% over the optimum. In the Torres Strait, this species biomass has declined at least 40–50% since the 1980s, and has declined at least 40% in eastern Australia. In Queensland, management authorities determined this species to be overfished, and the fishery may be in danger of collapsing. Where data are available to conduct a quantitative stock assessment, results have shown at least a 30% decline in biomass or other indicators of population abundance over the past 25–40 years. However, there is little information on stocks of this species in East Africa, southeast Asia and in the northeastern portion of its range. Consequently, this species is listed as Near Threatened. With additional information from these regions this species may warrant reassessment.
For further information about this species, see TUNAS_SkiJumpEffect.pdf.
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Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Indo-West Pacific from the Red Sea and South Africa to Southeast Asia, north to China and Japan and south to southeast Australia, and to Fiji. It is an immigrant to the eastern Mediterranean Sea by way of the Suez Canal where it can be found westward to at least Tunisia (Ben Souissi et al. 2006). In the southeast Atlantic, it is has been reported from St. Helena as a vagrant.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Comoros; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; Guam; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Macao; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Mauritius; Mozambique; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Qatar; Réunion; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United Arab Emirates; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Yemen
Introduced:
Greece; Israel; Lebanon; Turkey
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Vagrant:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Mediterranean and Black Sea; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is taken throughout its range by commercial, artisanal, and recreational fisheries. Worldwide reported landings show a gradual increase from 7,186 tonnes in 1950 to 23,5985 tonnes in 2006 (FAO 2009).

The species comprises at least two stocks in the Indo-Pacific separated by the Wallace Line (Suleman and Ovender 2010).

Indian Ocean
Catch estimates for Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel are highly uncertain. The catches of Spanish Mackerel increased from around 50,000 t the mid-1970s to 100,000 t by the mid-1990s. The current average annual catch is around 112,200 t (for the period 2002 to 2006), with most of the catch obtained taken from the west Indian Ocean area. In recent years, the countries attributed with the highest catches of Spanish Mackerel are Indonesia, Madagascar, Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The overall catch in the eastern Indian Ocean is relatively stable, whereas in the western Indian Ocean it peaked in 1988 and has levelled off since then (IOTC 2006).

Some localized, sub-regional assessments have been carried out (Ben Meriem et al. 2006, Devaraj et al. 2000, Motlagh and Shojaei 2009), but none at a regional level. In the Persian Gulf, catch increased from 3,939 t in 1997 to 8,149 t in 2003 mostly from gillnets but also handlines, and this species is considered to be heavily overexploited (Motlagh and Shojaei 2009, Shojaei et al. 2007). In Oman, it is estimated that at the current fishing mortality rate of 16% for females and 27% for males, the fishery is overfished with a high chance of recruitment failure in the near future (Govender et al. 2006). Similarly, in the Arabian Sea, the fishing mortality rate greater than four times the optimum, and the resource is heavily exploited (Grandcourt et al. 2005). In South Africa, a recent report indicates that there is no indication of overfishing (Govender 1994).

Australia
Several stock assessments have been carried out in eastern Australia (Welch et al. 2002) that indicated the stock was around 40–50% of the unfished biomass. The commercial catch per unit effort (CPUE) of Spanish Mackerel has historically exhibited a stable trend, despite inter annual variability in total catch. Assessments have also been carried out in northern Australia (Buckworth et al. 2001), the Torres Strait (Begg et al. 2006), and in western Australia a number of models were explored, and indicated that this stock may be fully exploited to somewhat overfished (Mackie et al. 2003). In the Torres Strait, there has been an estimated 40% decline in biomass since 1980 (Begg et al. 2006). Based on assessments in 2000 and 2002, it was acknowledged that there was a significant degree of uncertainty in fisheries models because the fisheries for this species in Queensland were projected to collapse (Tobin and Malupusan 2004).

India
In 1996, a stock assessment of this species along the western coast of India indicated that present exploitation rate should be reduced by 60%, based on estimated maximum sustainable yield (MSY) (Deveraj et al. 1999). Urgent measures are needed to regulate the trawlers and drift gill nets.

Southeast Asia
There is no information on stock assessments or specific fisheries for this species. In Taiwan, this species is a bycatch species in gillnet and trawling. In the Western Central Pacific, this species is recorded as bycatch in a number of different fisheries. FAO reported landings are increasing, but effort is not known.

Mediterranean
In the Mediterranean region, this species represents 2.08% total catch of Egyptian Mediterranean coast and its main food is the anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus (Bakhoum 2007). This species is reported to the FAO in catches from Libya where it is targeted.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is pelagic and oceanodromous. It is distributed from near the edge of the continental shelf to shallow coastal waters, often of low salinity and high turbidity. It is also found in drop-offs, and shallow or gently sloping reef and lagoon waters. It inhabits coastal waters at depths to 200 m (Collette 2001), but is more frequently caught in areas less than 100 m depth. It usually hunts solitarily and often swims in shallow water along coastal slopes. It is known to undertake lengthy long-shore migrations, but permanent resident populations also seem to exist. It is found in small schools. It feeds primarily on small fishes like anchovies, clupeids, carangids, also squid, and penaeid shrimps.

Depending on temperature regime, the spawning season may be more or less extended. In Australian waters, each female spawns several times over the season, about two to six days apart, depending on the locality. Spanish Mackerel spawn off the reef slopes and edges, and they form spawning aggregations in specific areas.

This species has an age at first maturity of about two years (Devaraj 1981, Grandcourt et al. 2005, Mackie et al. 2003, Claereboudt et al. 2005). In north Queensland, Australia the oldest male was 10 years (127 cm, 19.0 kg), and the oldest female 14 years (155 cm, 35 kg). This species may live up to 15 years (IOTC 2006), 16 years (Grandcourt et al. 2005), and maybe as long as 22 years (Mackie et al. 2003). Generation length is conservatively estimated to be at least 8–9 years, but possibly may be longer.

The all-tackle angling record is of a 44.91 kg fish caught off Scottburgh, Natal, South Africa (IGFA 2009).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This is a highly commercial species in many fisheries throughout its range.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is a highly commercial species caught primarily with gillnets, but also caught with purse seines, bamboo stake traps, mid-water trawls, rod and reel and by trolling (Collette 2001). This species is also taken as bycatch in long-line, purse-seine and gill net gear targeting larger scombrids.

A lipid-soluble toxin, similar to ciguatoxin has been found in the flesh of specimens caught on the east coast of Queensland, Australia.

This species is considered to be under intense fishing pressure in Oman, and urgent management is recommended (Claereboudt et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures for this species, except in Australia where there are minimum size and bag limits. The Queensland Fishery is regulated under Queensland's Fisheries Regulations 1995. Regulations include a minimal size limit of 75 cm, that applies to both commercial and recreational fishers on the East Coast of Queensland. Recreational fishers are also limited to 30 school mackerel per fishing trip. These licenses also regulate fishing practices and gear.

Effort data is needed to interpret national and regional catch landings. This species likely comprises a number of stocks throughout its range, and conservation measures may be better implemented by national agencies, rather than regional management organizations.

Citation: Collette, B., Chang, S.-K., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Juan Jorda, M., Miyabe, N. & Nelson, R. 2011. Scomberomorus commerson. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 December 2014.
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