|Scientific Name:||Acanthurus mata|
|Species Authority:||(Cuvier, 1829)|
Acanthurus bleekeri Günther, 1861
Acanthurus weberi Ahl,
Chaetodon mata Cuvier, 1829
Chaetodon meta Cuvier, 1829
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Assessor/s:||Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.|
|Reviewer/s:||Davidson, L., Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.|
Acanthurus mata is widespread in the Indo-Pacific and common in parts of its range. It is a targeted food fish in the Coral Triangle Region and is one of the more important surgeonfish harvested. Fishing is not considered a major threat globally and it occurs in a number of marine reserves in parts of its distribution. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
|Range Description:||Acanthurus mata is found from the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman, south to Natal, eastwards to Society and Marquesan Islands, northwards to southern Japan, southwards to New South Wales and New Caledonia. Juveniles occur as far south as Sydney (R. Myers pers. comm. 2010). It is reported from Western Australia (Allen and Swainston 1988), south to Shark Bay. It is not known to occur from the Hawaiian Islands, Pitcairn Islands and Rapa (Randall 2001a).|
Native:American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Bangladesh; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Disputed Territory (Spratly Is.); Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia (Marquesas); French Southern Territories (the) (Mozambique Channel Is.); Guam; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati (Gilbert Is., Kiribati Line Is., Phoenix Is.); Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:||
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
Acanthurus mata is common in parts of its range. Visual census surveys along Aceh coast, Weh Island, Indonesia recorded fish densities of 4 individuals/750 m2 at Pantai sirkui and 6 individuals/750 m2 at Teupin Layeu (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science 2007). This species was recorded as moderately common in terms of relative abundance in the northern Bismarck Sea and Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea (Allen 2003, 2009). At Raja Ampat, Indonesia, it is moderately common, usually on drop-offs in turbid water (Allen 2003b). It is occasionally found in Calamianes Islands and El Nido, Philippines; mostly juveniles and subadults were seen (Werner and Allen 2000). It is rare in the American Samoa National Park (National Park of Samoa Checklist of Fishes accessed 21 April 2010).
In Kenya, landings during 1978-2001 for families that are less important in commercial catches (e.g., scarinae and Acanthuridae) showed rising catches (1978-1984) followed by a general decline during the 1990s, but the landings for the scarinae showed a rising trend in recent years (Kaunda-Arara et al. 2003).
|Habitat and Ecology:||
Acanthurus mata generally feeds above the bottom on zooplankton, often in small schools. It is more inclined than other surgeonfishes to enter turbid water (Randall 2001a). It is found on coral reefs or over rocky substrata, generally at depths greater than 15 m. Juveniles feed on benthic algae, adults primarily on zooplankton. It was observed within and below schools of Caranx sexfasciatus feeding on fecal material (Randall 2001a). It is sometimes seen in aggregations (Randall 2001b). It is a very mobile pelagic species. Maximum age was 23 years (Choat and Robertson 2002).
The sexes are separate among the acanthurids (Reeson 1983). Acanthurids do not display obvious sexual dimorphism, males assume courtship colours (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010). This species was observed to form very large spawning aggregations on the reef flat of Palau around both full and new moons of May (Johannes 1981). A. mata is likely to form resident spawning aggregations (Domeier and Colin 1997). It is also known to form spawning aggregations on the Great Barrier Reef (Johannes 1981).
Acanthurus mata is targeted in areas where illegal fishing practices are known to occur (i.e., Coral Triangle Region).
Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species' populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover, especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).
|Conservation Actions:||There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas in parts of its range.|
|Citation:||Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Acanthurus mata. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 June 2013.|
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