Scomberomorus niphonius 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Scombridae

Scientific Name: Scomberomorus niphonius (Cuvier, 1832)
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Seerfish, Japanese Spanish Mackerel
French Thazard Oriental
Spanish Carite Oriental
Cybium gracile Günther, 1873
Cybium niphonium Cuvier, 1832
Sawara niphonia (Cuvier, 1832)
Taxonomic Notes: Early records of this species from Australia refer to Scomberomorus munroi.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient 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., Nelson, R. & Uozumi, Y.
Reviewer(s): Russell, B. & Polidoro, B.
This species is found along the coasts of China, Korea, Japan and north to Vladivostok, Russia. This species is heavily fished in many parts of its range, and there have been at least one occurrence of a localized collapse in the inland Sea of Japan. Although recovery efforts are underway in the Inland Sea, no information is available on this species population in China or Korea, where an estimated 50% or more of the global catch occurs. It is listed as Data Deficient. More information on catch and effort of this species in China and Korea is needed, as this species may qualify for a threatened category.
For further information about this species, see TUNAS_SkiJumpEffect.pdf.
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Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:In the northwest Pacific this species is confined to the subtropical and temperate waters of China, the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan north to Vladivostok, former USSR. This species may occur to southern China, including Hainan Island. This species may be increasing its range in the north of Japan.
Countries occurrence:
China; Hong Kong; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Russian Federation; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is taken throughout its range but is the most important Scomberomorus species in Japan. FAO worldwide reported landings show a gradual increase from 1,900 tonnes in 1950 to 60,685 tonnes in 2006 (FAO 2009). It is an important fishery in South Korea, where 40,000 tonnes were recorded in 2007, and where 50% of the global catch occurs. Reported landings in China may not be accurate.

Two different stock assessments have been conducted in the East China Sea and in the Inland Sea. In the East China Sea, this species is caught by purse seiners, and catch per unit effort (CPUE) since 1994 by Japanese purse seiners is increasing. In the Inland Sea, this species was very depleted in the past as estimated biomass in 1985 was 60,000 tonnes and dropped to 2,000 tonnes in 1998. There is a slight increase to 5,000 tonnes in 2007 based on recovery program that begin in 2002 with a restocking program (Uozumi pers comm 2009). In the western part of Japan, catches are increasing as this species is likely increasing its range because it used to be rare in this region. There are no major fisheries for this species on the eastern part of Japan.

In Taiwan, reported catches of this species to FAO have declined from 15,000 tonnes in 2007 to 1,400 tonnes in 2008, but this needs to be confirmed as catches are reported from distant water long-lines which are not normally used to catch this species (Chang, pers comm 2009).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is pelagic, oceanodromous, and found near shore (including semi-enclosed sea areas). It undergoes a spawning migration in spring (March to June) and a feeding migration in fall (September to November) in the Inland Sea of Japan. It feeds on small fishes. Larvae exhibited almost exclusive piscivory from first feeding in tanks (Shoji and Tanaka 2001, 2004).

Length of maturity at 50% is 60 cm fork length (FL) for females and 40 cm FL for males in Japan (Inoue et al. 2007). Longevity is estimated to be six years based on a growth study using scales in Japan (Kishida et al. 1985), and maximum length is 103 cm FL. Generation length is therefore estimated to be approximately 2–3 years.

Maximum size is more than 100 cm FL, 9.4 kg. The all-tackle game fish record is a 9.35 kg fish caught at Shirasaki, Wakayama, Japan in 2007 (IGFA 2011).

There are two migrations in the Inland Sea of Japan, a spawning migration in the spring (March to June) and a feeding migration in the fall (September to November) according to Hamada and Iwai (1967).


Generation Length (years):2-3
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is important in commercial fisheries in the majority of its range. In the Inland Sea of Japan, the main fishing seasons are during its two migrations, from March to June and September to November (Hamada and Iwai (1967). There are also important fisheries in the Huanghai Sea (Yellow Sea) and Bohai Sea (Liu et al. 1982).

Ye and Zhu (1984) developed a bioeconomic model for this fishery estimating maximum revenue, optimum economic effort, and optimum energy consumption.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is a highly commercial species caught with gillnets, purse seiners and set nets. This species is the most important Scomberomorus species in Japan, where it is cultured and released for fisheries.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is cultured and released in the Inland Sea in Japan. In Japan, there are regulations to control effort (including regulating the number of boats and catch size) as well as seasonal closures in the Inland Sea. However, more information on the harvest and population status of this species population is needed in China and Korea.

Citation: Collette, B., Chang, S.-K., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Juan Jorda, M., Nelson, R. & Uozumi, Y. 2011. Scomberomorus niphonius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T170356A6767322. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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