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Dermatolepis striolata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES EPINEPHELIDAE

Scientific Name: Dermatolepis striolata
Species Authority: (Playfair, 1867)
Common Name(s):
English Smooth Grouper
French Merou Lisse
Spanish Merou Lisa
Synonym(s):
Dermatolepis striolata (Playfair, 1867)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Cornish, A. (Grouper & Wrasse Specialist Group)
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Fennessy, S. (Grouper & Wrasse Red List Authority)
Justification:
Although a large grouper, and, therefore, probably a protogynous hermaphrodite (sex-changing from female to male at large size) and susceptible to fishing pressure, information is extremely scarce on this species. Probably as a result of its rarity and consequent low importance to fisheries, basic biology such as size/age of sexual maturity is not known, and there does not appear to be any fisheries data or otherwise that could be used to estimate changes in abundance over time. This rarity likely increases its vulnerability to extinction (Roberts et al. 2000), as groupers in general are targeted and easily caught (hook and line, traps, spearfishing) almost wherever they exist, and so there is significant cause for concern for this species. However, at the present time due to the lack of data, Dermatolepis striolata is assessed as Data Deficient (DD).

Regional Status
D. striolata appears to be rare throughout its range, except for southern Oman where it is common (Randall 1995).

Oman
D. striolata is moderately common in southern Oman (basically everywhere I have been in the water on rocky sites there: J. Kemp pers. comm. 2004).

D.striolata appears from time to time in the Salalah (largest city in southern Oman near the Yemen border) market but not very often. Interviews with fishers in the Halaniyats in 2002 revealed no specific reference to this species, but they did talk about an overall decline in catch in the past 20 years. This decline has been ascribed to a number of different factors including fishermen from northern Oman (where fish stocks are heavily exploited) migrating to the south to fish, and illegal fishing in shallow inshore waters by the foreign owned industrial trawlers. Although anecdotal, the reported decline has been supported by fishermen from Salalah, several of whom where interviewed in December 2003 and March 2004. The latter interviews were specifically about grouper - which they said had declined significantly in the past 15 years (J. Mcilwain, pers. comm. 2004).

Fisheries data for Oman are not available although fish landings in general have declined since the peak in 1988 (Ministry of Information 1995).

Yemen
In 1996, D. striolata was very common at Soqotra and Abd al Kuri Islands (and presumably on the mainland Somali coast around there although not visited) with large individuals abundant (J. Kemp pers. comm. 2004).

Kenya
Infrequently trapped at the Malindi Marine Park coastal Kenya (B. Kaunda-Arara, pers. comm. 2002).

South Africa
Not seen and, therefore, believed to be rare (S. Fennessy, pers. comm. 2001).

Mozambique
Does not appear in catches from Mozambique waters although reported to occur there (Lichucha, pers. comm. 2001).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Dermatolepis striolata occurs in the western Indian Ocean: Gulf of Oman and south coast of Arabian Peninsula, Aldabra, Comoros, Madagascar, and the coast of East Africa from Kenya to South Africa (Durban).
Countries:
Native:
Comoros; Djibouti; Eritrea; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kenya; Mozambique; Oman; Seychelles (Aldabra); Somalia; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal); Tanzania, United Republic of; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – western
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs on coral reefs on rocky bottom often lurking in or near caves (Randall 1995).

Reaches a maximum size of 85 cm (Randall 1995). It is not known whether this species forms spawning aggregations although "Morgans (1982) reports shoaling behaviour in small groups eight or fewer individuals" (Heemstra and Randall 1993).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overfishing is likely to be the main threat to this species. Although it appears to be too rare to be of commercial importance and it very rarely appears in Hong Kong markets, imported through the Live Reef Food Fish Trade (A. Cornish, pers. obs. 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Commercial fishing is limited to 15% of the total catch and within Oman's territorial waters; foreign vessels may not fish without a licence.

Citation: Cornish, A. (Grouper & Wrasse Specialist Group) 2004. Dermatolepis striolata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 August 2014.
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