Capros aper 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Caproidae

Scientific Name: Capros aper (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Boarfish
French Sanglier, Sarsotin
Spanish Ochavo
Perca brunnich Lacepède, 1802
Perca pusilla Brünnich, 1768
Zeus aper Linnaeus, 1758

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-07-15
Assessor(s): Smith-Vaniz, W.F., de Bruyne, G., de Morais, L. & Carpenter, K.E.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B. & Soto, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Stump, E.
Capros aper is a mesopelagic species that ranges from Norway to Senegal, including the Mediterranean Sea and east Atlantic islands. This species occurs to 600 m depth and is abundant throughout most of its range.This species is commercially exploited for fishmeal in the northern parts of its range and although there is no evidence of major population decline, C. aper should be carefully monitored as it is more sensitive to fishing pressure than other pelagic species. It is listed as Least Concern. 

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Capros asper is a widespread species, occurring from Norway and the United Kingdom to France, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, including the Mediterranean and to Cape Verde and Senegal. The depth range for this species is 25–600 m (Vakily et al. 2002, Heemstra in press).

Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Belgium; Cape Verde; Croatia; Cyprus; Denmark; Egypt; Faroe Islands; France; Gibraltar; Greece; Guernsey; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jersey; Lebanon; Libya; Malta; Mauritania; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal (Azores, Madeira); Senegal; Serbia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey; United Kingdom; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):600
Upper depth limit (metres):25
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Capros aper is abundant in parts of its range including the Seine Seamount and Great Meteor Seamount in the Eastern Atlantic (Fock et al. 2002, Christiansen et al. 2009). This species was historically rare in the Northeastern Atlantic but from the 1970s onward, the abundance of this species increased exponentially and its distribution expended northwards along the western seaboard of Ireland and Bay of Biscay Blanchard and Vandermeirsch 2005). Abundance increased particularly between the 1980s and 2000s in the Bay of Biscay, over the Galician continental shelf, and in the Celtic Sea and is now a dominant species in the Bay of Biscay (Blanchard and Vandermeirsch 2005, Hussy et al. 2012). This species was caught more frequently and in larger quantities in both pelagic and demersal fisheries. During this time, several landings were produced into fishmeal in Ireland but this was short lived due to logistical problems because of the prominent dorsal spines on this species and was not favoured by processors. In the 1990s, interest peaked again when Dutch pelagic vessels landed frozen samples to determine if it could be marketed for human consumption. Irish landings of this species was relatively small in the early 2000s at less than 700 mt per year and it was not until 2006 when a directed fishery fully developed. The fishery for Capros aper eventually bridged an important gap between the short season fisheries for horse mackerel, mackerel and blue whiting and effectively extended the fishing season for the RSW fleet from late August through May (O'Donnell et al. 2011). O'Donnell et al. (2011) conducted a boarfish acoustic survey and of the 20 hauls carried out, 12 hauls contained boarfish. O'Donnell et al. (2011) estimated ("definitely" and "probably" boarfish) the biomass (t) at 433,584 and a contribution of 100%. 

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Capros aper is a gregarious, mesopelgic species that is armoured and can occur to depths of 600 m. (Whitehead et al. 1986). This species occurs over rock, coral and sand substrates, and is particularly associated with the shelf edge and zones of high offshore productivity (Blanchard and Vandermeirsch 2005, Tidd and Warnes 2006, Lopes et al. 2006). This species can attain 19 cm in length (Heemstra in press) and can reach an age of 25–26 years with an age at maturity of ~5.25 years (White et al. 2011). The small size and late age at maturity of C. aper suggests that this species is more sensitive to fishing pressure than other larger and earlier maturing pelagics (i.e., herring, mackerel, horse mackerel, blue whiting). 


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Capros aper undergoes high, but occasional, fishing pressure and is primarily used for fishmeal (White et al. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are is no evidence of major population decline for C. aper; however, this species is sensitive to fishing pressure due to its small size and late age at maturity (White et al. 2011). 

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In November 2010, a precautionary interim management plan was implemented covering ICES Divisions VI, VII and VII and an European Union total allowable catch (TAC) of 33,000 t was set. The precautionary TAC was set based on 50-75% of the total landings from 2007–2009 which peaked at over 83,400 t in 2009. Boarfish landings in 2010 exceeded 137,000 t prior to the introduction of the TAC control. Seasonal closures were also adopted: September 1 to October 31 ICES (area VIIg) in order to protected herring feeding and pre spawning aggregations and March 15 through August 31 where mackerel are frequently caught as a large bycatch. In addition, a catch rule ceiling of 5% bycatch was implemented where C. aper is taken with other TAC controlled species (O'Donnell et al. 2011). 

Citation: Smith-Vaniz, W.F., de Bruyne, G., de Morais, L. & Carpenter, K.E. 2015. Capros aper. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T198557A21910115. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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