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Brama brama 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Bramidae

Scientific Name: Brama brama (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic Pomfret, Angel, Angelfish, Angel Fish, Black Sea Bream, Common Pomfret, Lestia, Pomfret, Ray's Bream, Ray's Sea bream
French Brème de Mer, Castagnole, Catagnole, Grandecastagnole, Grande Castagnole, Rondanin
Spanish Brama, Castañeta, Castañola, Japuta, Joputa, Palometa Negra
Synonym(s):
Brama chilensis Guichenot, 1848
Brama marina Fleming, 1828
Brama pinnasquamata Couch, 1849
Brama raji Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Chaetodon umbratus Cabrera, 1857
Lepidotus catalonicus Asso, 1801
Lepodus saragus Rafinesque, 1810
Sparus brama Bonnaterre, 1788
Sparus castaneola Lacepède, 1802
Sparus dentatus Berkenhout, 1789
Sparus niger Montagu, 1804
Sparus johnsoni Walbaum [J. J.] 1792
Sparus raii Bloch [M. E.] 1791
Toxotes squamosus Hutton, 1875
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomy and key characteristics of Brama species are in need of review (Haedrich in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2013-05-22
Assessor(s): Iwamoto, T., Singh-Renton, S., Robertson, R., Marechal, J., Aiken, K.A., Dooley, J., Collette, B.B., Oxenford, H., Pina Amargos, F. & Kishore, R.
Reviewer(s): Weller, S., Strongin, K., Polidoro, B. & Carpenter, K.E.
Justification:
Brama brama is circumglobally distributed and there may be some confusion pertaining to the taxonomy. It is a pelagic offshore species that is an important prey item to large marine predators. It is a large species that is relatively long-lived and therefore may be vulnerable to overfishing. It commonly occurs as bycatch in longline fisheries where it is commercially valuable and has seen some evidence of overfishing off the Spanish coast, however the overall level of this threat is unknown. Brama brama is included in Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea created by the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it is highly migratory. Brama brama is not commercially fished in the Caribbean, however, there is interest by the fisheries. Brama brama is caught as bycatch of longlines and driftnets. It is not commercially exploited off the West African coast. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Brama brama is distributed worldwide (Atlantic, Indian and South Pacific) in tropical to warm temperate waters (Thompson 2002). It is widely distributed in the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones of the North Atlantic and possibly the Southern Ocean above 30°N and 35°S. Richards (2006) noted B. brama young to be found from Florida to the Mediterranean.

In the Western Atlantic, B. brama is known from a few scattered records from Nova Scotia, Bermuda, Gulf of Mexico, northern South America (Robertson and Acero pers. comm. 2013) to Belize and the Antilles (Claro 1994). It is distributed in the western Atlantic from zero to 400 m depth from south of Cape Cod (39°58'N, 70°46'W) to the Grand Banks and south to northern South America (Moore et al. 2003).

In the Eastern Atlantic, B. brama occurs from central Norway to Algoa Bay, South Africa. Off of the west African coast it ranges from Morocco (30°N) to the north and from South Africa (35°S) to to the south (Haedrich in press). Off of the African coast this species ranges from Walvis Bay, Namibia south around the Cape of Good Hope to Algoa Bay, South Africa in depths from 50-1,000 m where it rarely occurs near land (Heemstra and Heemstra 2004). In a longline survey off of the Cape Verde Islands, one individual of this species was caught between 700-750 m depth (Menezes et al. 2004). This species has been captured in trawls off Western Sahara and Mauritania (Merrett and Marshall 1981, Ramos et al. 2001).

It is found from shallow waters to 1,000 m depth (Kells and Carpenter 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Algeria; Angola; Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; Australia (Macquarie Is.); Bahamas; Barbados; Belgium; Belize; Benin; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Brazil; Cameroon; Canada; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Chile; Colombia; Comoros; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Cuba; Curaçao; Cyprus; Denmark; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Faroe Islands; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); French Southern Territories (Amsterdam-St. Paul Is., Crozet Is., Kerguelen, Mozambique Channel Is.); Gabon; Gambia; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guernsey; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Haiti; Honduras; Iceland; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jamaica; Jersey; Kenya; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Madagascar; Maldives; Malta; Martinique; Mauritania; Mayotte; Mexico; Monaco; Montserrat; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Panama; Portugal (Azores, Madeira, Portugal (mainland), Selvagens); Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (Ascension, Saint Helena (main island), Tristan da Cunha); Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sao Tomé and Principe; Senegal; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Somalia; South Africa (Marion-Prince Edward Is.); South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Spain (Canary Is., Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Syrian Arab Republic; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; Turks and Caicos Islands; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Western Sahara; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – Antarctic; Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – northwest; Indian Ocean – Antarctic; Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Mediterranean and Black Sea; Pacific – western central; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Despite the wide distribution, population information is limited for the Western Central Atlantic. Between 1881 to 2007, 70 B. brama were deposited in museum collections globally. There are no substantial threats outside the region that will significantly affect syvpopulations in the Caribbean through immigration or emigration.

In the Eastern Central Atlantic, Brama brama commonly occurs in trawl catches on the outer continental shelf as well as longlines off of Portugal and the Atlantic coast of Spain (Heemstra and Heemstra 2004). In a longline survey off of the Cape Verde Islands, one individual of this species was caught between 700-750 m depth (Menezes et al. 2004). It commonly occurred in a survey over the continental slope off Namibia where it was more common during cooler summers versus warmer ones (MacPherson and Gordoa 1992). Two individuals were captured in a survey near the border between Western Sahara and Mauritania (Merrett and Marshall 1981). This species occurs frequently in the Spanish deepwater bottom-longline hake fishery off Mauritania where it is retained and sold (Ramos et al. 2001). There appears to be evidence for migration between subpopulations (Rodriguez 1980).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Brama brama is oceanic (Briggs 1960, Richards 2006) and it is found in small schools on the continental slope. Brama brama embark on vertical migrations daily (Haedrich 1986, Dulcic 1999, Lobo and Erzini 2001) and exercises diel migration where it migrates to shallower depth at night (Rodriguez 1980). Seasonal migrations have been linked to water temperature (Kells and Carpenter 2011). Its diet consists of myctophids, other small bony fishes and invertebrates (Bianchi et al. 1999, Kells and Carpenter 2011). The maximum total length (TL) is 101 cm (Claro 1994). Paul et al. (2004) estimated B. brama longevity to be at least 25 years. Brama brama is oviparous with planktonic eggs and larvae and spawns in the summer months (Richards 2006). 

Vakily et al. (2002) describes B. brama as benthopelagic with a maximum size of 100 cm TL off of West Africa. It is an important prey item for large pelagic predators such as dolphin, sharks, and tunas (Dunn et al. 2010, Hassani et al. 1997). In the Mediterranean, B. brama spawning season occurs in August and September, but is later in the Eastern Atlantic (Haedrich 1986, Dulcic 1999).

Bramids are epi- and mesopelagic fishes found throughout temperate and warm-temperate oceans that feed on small fishes and macroinvertebrates including squid. They are year-round batch spawners that undergo significant morphological changes with growth (Haedrich in press).


Systems:Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: While Brama brama is not commercially exploited by the Western Central Atlantic fisheries, there is interest in this species by the fisheries.

In the Eastern Central Atlantic, Brama brama commonly occurs in trawl catches on the outer continental shelf as well as longlines off of Portugal and the Atlantic coast of Spain (Heemstra and Heemstra 2004). Several species of the Bramidae family are caught as bycatch by longline and vertical line off of Africa. They are generally considered a highly desirable foodfish. A commercial fishery for Brama species exists off of the northern Iberian Peninsula (Haedrich in press). This species is also caught as bycatch in the midwater trawl fishery (zero to 1,000 m depth) off of Walvis Bay, South Africa (Bianchi et al. 1999). It occurs as bycatch in the deepwater longline fishery for European Hake off of southern Portugal where it is retained and sold (Erzini et al. 2001). This species occurs frequently in the Spanish deepwater bottom-longline hake fishery off Mauritania where it is retained and sold (Ramos et al. 2001). Catches were reportedly high for this species off the Spanish coast between 1953-1960, low between 1960-1965, increased between 1965-1969, and 1969 was followed by an apparent disappearance until 1976 (Rodriguez 1980). This species frequently occurs as bycatch in the drift net fishery for Albacore in the eastern North Atlantic (Rogan and Mackey 2007). This species is not commercially exploited in the Cape Verde Islands (Monteiro pers. comm. 2013), off Mauritania (Camara pers. comm. 2013) or off Nigeria (Williams pers. comm. 2013).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In the Caribbean, Brama brama is caught as bycatch of longlines (Garcia 1994) and driftnets (Daniela et al. 2010). There is interest in B. brama by fisheries in the Western Central Atlantic. In the Eastern Central Atlantic, Brama brama occurs frequently in the Spanish deepwater bottom-longline hake fishery off Mauritania where it is retained and sold (Ramos et al. 2001). It is large and relatively long-lived and therefore may be vulnerable to overfishing (Rodriguez 1980, Iwamoto pers. comm. 2013). The level of this threat is unknown at this time (Iwamoto pers. comm. 2013). Brama brama is an important commercial fishery in the Eastern Central Atlantic, Northeast Atlantic, Southeast Atlantic, Antarctic/Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Southwest Pacific.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Brama brama is a highly migratory species that is included in Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea created by the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Responsibility is given to coastal states to determine the proper management and use of fishery resources within their national jurisdiction. Under Annex I, coastal states and other states that fish where there is a presence of highly migratory species are to ensure the conservation and optimum utilization of listed species (Garcia 1994, Malak et al. 2011). In the Eastern Central Atlantic, there are no known conservation measures in place for Brama brama.

Citation: Iwamoto, T., Singh-Renton, S., Robertson, R., Marechal, J., Aiken, K.A., Dooley, J., Collette, B.B., Oxenford, H., Pina Amargos, F. & Kishore, R. 2015. Brama brama. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T195091A19929350. . Downloaded on 21 August 2018.
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