Paralabrax clathratus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Serranidae

Scientific Name: Paralabrax clathratus (Girard, 1854)
Common Name(s):
English Kelp bass, Rock sea bass, Sea bass
French Serran des algues
Spanish Cabrilla alguera, Cabrilla sargacera
Labrax clathratus Girard, 1854

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-05-01
Assessor(s): Iwamoto, T., Smith-Vaniz, B. & Robertson, R.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
This species is restricted to California and Mexico. It has historically been overfished, and may still be negatively affected by fishing activities in the southern portion of its range. However, populations in California appear to be stable given the closure of the commerical fishery and implementation of catch size limits in recreational fisheries. Furthermore, this species is expected to recover with the implementation of a system of effective no-take Marine Protected Areas in Southern California. It is listed as Least Concern. However, this species should continue to be carefully monitored given the current small average size compared to historical records.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is found from central California to the tip of Baja California. This species has historically ranged as far north as the Columbia River, Oregon. However, it is now considered rare north of Point Conception, California (California Fish and Game 2001).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):61
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information for this species.This species is considered common in southern California and northwestern Baja California.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This benthopelagic species is found in or near kelp beds to depths of 61 m (Young 1963). Juveniles feed on benthic invertebrates (especially crustaceans), and adults feed on fishes and cephalopods (Heemstra 1995). Both juveniles and adults may feed on plankton when abundant (Heemstra 1995)

This species can range throughout the water column, but can be found in the greatest numbers in shallower waters at less than 25 m depth. Mature individuals usually gather to breed in deeper water near kelp beds and rocky headlands. Several hundred adults may aggregate in a small area during spawning. Kelp Bass produce free-drifting eggs which enter the plankton in coastal waters. Larvae remain in the plankton for 28 to 30 days, after which they settle into shallow water habitats that have attached algae and drift algae, including kelp. They mature at three to five years, and the oldest known kelp bass was 34 years old and 63 cm long (California Fish and Game 2004). However, current average body sizes are smaller than historical records.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:  This species is an excellent food fish and an important game fish. It is a commercially important species in Mexico (Heemstra, 1995).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been negatively impacted by past commercial and current sport fishing. In the 1970s and 1980s, this species was among the top three species taken in sport (angler) fisheries. The Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS) catch estimates show trends in declining catches through most of the 1990s with a low in 1999, and with landings rebounding in 2000 and 2001 (California Fish and Game 2004). In general, peak landings of Kelp Bass have followed El NiƱo events. Surveys in the 1970s and 1980s indicated that a stable spawning population was being maintained, because a large number of age-classes were being caught by anglers (California Fish and Game 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Commercial fishing of this species has been prohibited in California since the 1950s. In addition, size limits of 12 inches minimum size apply for sport fishing with a bag limit of 10 Paralabrax spp. This species' distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas in southern California currently being developed that will offer greatly enhanced protection.

Citation: Iwamoto, T., Smith-Vaniz, B. & Robertson, R. 2010. Paralabrax clathratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T183858A8189690. . Downloaded on 24 June 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