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Choerodon graphicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES LABRIDAE

Scientific Name: Choerodon graphicus
Species Authority: (De Vis, 1885)
Common Name(s):
English Graphic tuskfish
French Poisson défense des Sargasses
Synonym(s):
Choerodon transversalis Whitley, 1956
Choerodon transversalis Whitley, 1956
Choerops graphicus De Vis, 1885
Choerops graphicus De Vis, 1885

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-06-12
Assessor(s): To, A. & Liu, M.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.
Justification:
This species has a very limited geographic distribution, as it is found only in Australia (Queensland) and New Caledonia, and is common within most of its range. It is caught by recreational and commercial fisheries in at least some parts of its range, but also occurs in several marine protected areas and are subject to catch limits in Australia. It is listed as Least Concern. However, its use in the live fish trade needs to be evaluated, given its large body size, it is likely to be favored and also occurs in areas where these fisheries operate.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Great Barrier Reef, Cardwell, Queensland, and Elizabeth or Middleton Reef, Australia (R. Myers pers. comm. 2008), and in New Caledonia.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; New Caledonia
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Descriptive account on this species by Lieske and Myers (1994) reported that this species was common along its range of occurrence.

In New Caledonia, a total 5,094 individuals were counted in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 3-80 cm TL. In a total of 19 stations, a total of 81 individuals were caught with total weight of 10.4 kg (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs, usually found solitary on rubble and sand bottoms at depths greater than 20 m (Lieske and Myers 1994), and down to 46 m (R. Myers pers. comm. 2008). It feeds mainly on hard-shelled prey including crustaceans, molluscs and sea urchins (Lieske and Myers 1994).

The recorded maximum size of the species is 80 cm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008). Information on its reproductive biology and ecology is lacking.
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is utilized as food fish. However, the level of fishing pressure on C. graphicus from either recreational or commercial sectors is unknown.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is collected in recreational and commercial fishery in Australia and New Caledonia, however there is no information on its landings and the level of threat from these fisheries is unknown. Given this species large size and location in areas targeted by the live food fish trade, more research is needed on this species population status and harvest levels.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Australia, a minimum size of 30 cm TL and a bag limit of six fish apply to this genus (Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2008a). There are three, nine-day closure to the taking of all coral reef fishes including Choerodon species in Queensland east coast waters, which are in October, November and December each year around the new moon phase (Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2008b). In Caledonia, however, there is no specific management measures or regulation on this species.

This species is also present in some Marine Protected Areas within its restricted range. Marine parks are established within Queensland including the Heron Island where this species is recorded (Jones et al. 2004). Marine parks in Queensland are zoned for different purposes and they offer different levels of protection from recreational and commercial fishing activities.

In New Caledonia, no-take marine reserves have been established in five islands of the Southwest lagoon, which cover a total area of about 27 km2, in New Caledonia since 1989. Underwater visual censuses revealed significantly higher biomass and density of C. graphicus in these marine reserves after five years of protection (Wantiez et al. 1997).

More information is needed on this species population status, harvest levels, and potential impact of fisheries.

Citation: To, A. & Liu, M. 2010. Choerodon graphicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 July 2014.
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