Scomberomorus brasiliensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Scombridae

Scientific Name: Scomberomorus brasiliensis
Species Authority: Collette, Russo & Zavala-Camin, 1978
Common Name(s):
English Serra Spanish Mackerel, Serra, Atlantic Sierra, Carite
French Maquereau, Bonite, Thazard Franc, Thazard Serra, Thazard Tacheté Du Sud
Spanish Carite Pintado, Serra
Taxonomic Notes: Literature records previous to 1978 for Scomberomorus maculatus from the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Central and South America apply to Scomberomorus brasiliensis, which was previously considered as Scomberomorus maculatus by many authors (Collette and Russo 1985).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-14
Assessor(s): Collette, B., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Teixeira Lessa, R.P. & Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E.
Reviewer(s): Russell, B. & Polidoro, B.
This species is found from the Caribbean to Brazil. However, the majority of the catch for this species occurs in Brazilian waters. Stock assessments conducted in 2000 for the north and northeastern regions of Brazil indicate that this species is fully exploited. Studies have shown that the size at maturity, mean body size of catches, and total catch have decreased since the beginning of the fishery. However, it is unlikely that there has been a decline of 30% or more in its global population over the past three generation lengths (approximately 15–20 years). At present, the species is listed as Least Concern. There is an urgent need for a more recent stock assessment for this species in Brazil, and for more comprehensive assessments in the Caribbean portion of its range.
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 western Atlantic along the Caribbean and Atlantic coasts of Central and South America from Belize to Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Countries occurrence:
Aruba; Belize; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Curaçao; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):130
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is one of the most important marine commercial fishes in northeastern Brazil but most of the catch was previously reported as S. maculatus (Collette and Nauen 1983).

Reported worldwide landings for this species range from 300 mt in 1950 to 6,960 mt in 2006, with a peak of 9,510 mt in 1988 (FAO 2009). The 2008 preliminary catch of small tuna in the Atlantic amounted to 55,876 mt, of which 3,247 mt was estimated to be S. brasiliensis (STECF 2009).

There is only one stock in the Brazilian north and northeastern Exclusive Economic Zone (Nóbrega and Lessa 2009), however, no single stock assessment for this species in Brazilian waters has been conducted. In northeast Brazil, this species has a total mortality rate (Z) of 0,628 year-1, natural mortality= 0,30 year-1, fishing mortality= 0,33 year-1, exploitation rate = 0,52 and survival rate = 53,3% (Nóbrega and Lessa 2009). The theoretical maximum harvest rate (F) for sustainable exploitation for this species in Northeast Brazil was 0.60, which means that the species is being exploited at its maximum sustainable level. In Northeast Brazil, average annual biomass is estimated to be 4,237 t, and 35.9% of the stock is being exploited annually (Nóbrega and Lessa 2009). However there has been a decrease of average length of individuals caught, from 50.3–38.2 cm total length (TL) between 1998 and 2000 (Nóbrega and Lessa 2009), and by 33% from the 1960s to 2000 (Lucena et al. 2004). In North Brazil (e.g., Amapá, Pará and Maranhão), the population is also at its maximum exploitation limit (Lessa 2006, Souza et al. 2003).

The Caribbean represents a very small proportion of the species' range. In Trinidad, it is an important commercial and recreational species targeted by artisanal fisheries. A stock assessment in 1991 categorized this species in the waters of Trinidad as fully exploited (Henry and Martin 1992). The more recent assessment (Martin and Nowlis 2004) indicated that this species' biomass was below maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and that F was above Fmsy.  However, this most recent stock assessment was based on two different models with some conflicting results. In general, there is uncertainty in these results, and the recommendation is continued fishing at current levels.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:S. brasiliensis is an epipelagic, neritic species, found up to 130 m depths, most commonly found on a depth range from 20–60 m (Nóbrega et al. 2009). It concentrates on coastal areas, and is common on rocky coasts, open beaches and islands. It does not migrate extensively, although some seasonal movement appears to occur off Trinidad (Sturm 1978). It tends to form schools and enters tidal estuaries. It feeds largely on fishes, with smaller quantities of penaeid shrimps and loliginid cephalopods.

This species spawns over the continental shelf, probably between 15 and 36 m of depth (Fonteles-Filho 1988). In Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, the rainy season influences maturation, and individuals maturate later during the rainy season, with a peak of reproduction from March to June (Ximenes de Lima et al. 2007).

In northeast Brazil, this species has a sex ratio of 4:1, with males being more abundant than females (Nóbrega and Lessa 2009). In North Brazil, Lima (2004) found a sex ratio of 1:2, favourable to females, which also showed a larger average length.  For samples caught in Maranhão, reproduction takes place on the dry season, from June to November. In this region, length at first maturation is 41.1 cm for females and 44.3 cm for males, which would correspond to three years for females and four years for males (Lima 2004). However, in Rio Grande do Norte the length at first maturity of females has decreased from 41 cm  in the 1970s to 28 cm (TL) in 2007 (Ximenes de Lima et al. 2007).

This species may live up to 13 years, reaching 1 m of total length (Fonteles-Filho 1988).

Maximum Size is 125 cm fork length (FL). The all-tackle angling record is a 6.71 kg fish caught off Managaratiba, Brazil in 1999 (IGFA 2011).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is caught commercially, mainly with purse seines and gill nets. It is also a common sportsfish.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is fished throughout northern and northeastern Brazil by gillnets, hand-line and beach-seine fisheries. The decline in the abundance of this species over the last few years has been exhaustively cited by the fishermen who relate this decline in catch to overfishing. Two stock assessments from north and northeastern Brazil (Souza et al. 2003, Nobrega and Lessa 2009) indicate that the species is fully exploited, and the decrease in average body length and catches in both areas suggest that overfishing is occurring. Juveniles up to two years old are often caught on northeastern western coast in small meshed nets for sardine (Opisthonema oglinum) (Nóbrega and Lessa 2009). This species is also caught as bycatch.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no specific conservation actions for this species in Brazil. However, as it is estimated that one third of individuals caught in northeastern Brazil are immature, it is recommended to regulate mesh size (Nóbrega and Lessa 2009). It is also recommended that newer stock assessments be conducted.

In Trinidad, fishing effort is not controlled. There are regulations to specify the maximum length and depth and minimum mesh size for gillnets (11cm). Similar regulations are imposed for seines, with maximum dimensions for the nets and minimum mesh size requirements. Individuals less than 305 mm may not be taken or sold (Martin and Nowlis 2004).

Citation: Collette, B., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Teixeira Lessa, R.P. & Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E. 2011. Scomberomorus brasiliensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T170335A6753567. . Downloaded on 19 January 2017.
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