Epinephelus bruneus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Epinephelus bruneus
Species Authority: Bloch, 1793
Common Name(s):
English Kelp Grouper, Longtooth Grouper
Cepahlopholis moara (Temminck and Schlegel, 1842)
Cepahlopholis moara (Temminck and Schlegel, 1842)
Epinephelus bruneus Bloch, 1793
Epinephelus brunneus Bloch, 1793
Epinephelus brunneus Bloch, 1793
Epinephelus moara (Temminck and Schlegel, 1842)
Epinephelus moara (Temminck and Schlegel, 1842)
Serranus moara Temminck and Schlegel, 1842
Serranus moara Temminck and Schlegel, 1842
Taxonomic Notes: E. bruneus was generally identified as E. moara (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Mis-spelt as E. brunneus in Chan (1968).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A4d ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Thierry, C., Sadovy, Y. & To, A.W.L.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Epinephelus bruneus is listed as Vulnerable on the basis of a decline of at least 30% in the southern half of its relatively narrow range. Bottom trawling within its habitat along the coast of China is intensive. Fishing pressure appears to be increasing and declines are inferred in other parts of its range. Across its range, there is little fisheries management, thus, further declines in abundance are inferred.
2007 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Epinephelus bruneus is narrowly distributed from the coasts of the Republic of Korea, Japan (north to Hegura-jima Island, 37°50’N), China (north to Shanghai, south to Hong Kong and Hainan Island), and Taiwan (Heemstra and Randall 1993).
China; Hong Kong; Japan; Korea, Republic of; Philippines; Taiwan, Province of China; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: General
Little information is currently available for this species across most of its range, although it has been previously abundant in regional fisheries. The species is occasionally seen in local Hong Kong markets (Sadovy Y, pers. comm.).

E. bruneus was one of the most abundant species in Hong Kong waters in 1968 (Chan 1968). E. bruneus was available in markets throughout the year, with highest abundance from October to May (Chan 1968). Wilson (2003) frequently observed E. bruneus on Hong Kong artificial reefs. Sadovy and Cornish (2000) later described E. bruneus as one of the rarest grouper in Hong Kong, especially for fish larger than 50 cm TL.

Fishery-independent data
Hong Kong
Wilson (2003) stated that E. bruneus could be found on artificial reefs frequently. Sadovy and Cornish (2000) occasionally recorded E. bruneus during underwater observations (one 30 cm TL fish in a shallow coral area at about 3 m and a larger individual around large boulders at depth of 15 m).

Fishery-dependent data
No fishery-dependent data is available. No data are available on the sex composition or length-age relationship.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: General
E. bruneus inhabits rocky reefs and mud bottoms (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Adults can be found in depths of 20 to 200 m, while juveniles occur in shallow water (Heemstra and Randall 1993). The maximum size ofE. bruneus recorded is 136 cm TL (38 kg) (Jason Schratwieser, IGFA World Records, pers. comm. 12 Jan 2007).

According to fishermen, does not take baits readily during summer and the gonads of E. bruneus are empty, indicating a “spent” (post-reproductive) condition (Chan 1968).

No information is available on sexual pattern, fecundity or recruitment.
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Due to its large size, the price is sometimes a little lower than that of other commercial groupers (Chan 1968). E. bruneus is an excellent eating fish that can be captured with handlines, longlines, and trawls (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

E. bruneus is one of the most economically important species for aquaculture in Japan, but high mortality during early life stages affects the success of artificial larval rearing (Kato et al. 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to E. bruneus is fishing. The species is vulnerable to a wide range of gear types, including long-liners, trawlers and hand-liners (Chan 1968). Fishing on both juveniles and adults contributes to this threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Not known to occur in any enforced marine protected areas. There are no specific conservative measures for E. bruneus.

A more up-to-date stock assessment is crucial in determining abundance and population trends. More information on its stock, biology, age-and-growth and management practices is recommended.

Bibliography [top]

Chan, W.L. 1968. Marine Fishes of Hong Kong Part I.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Kato, K., Ishimaru, K., Sawada, Y., Mutsuro, J., Miyashita, S., Murata, O. and Kumai, H. 2004. Ontogeny of digestive and immune system organs of larval and juvenile kelp grouper Epinephelus bruneus reared in the laboratory.

Lau, P.P.F.and Li, L.W.H. 2000. Identification Guide to Fishes in the Live Seafood Trade of the Asia-Pacific Region..

Sadovy, Y. and Cornish, A.S. 2000. Reef Fishes of Hong Kong..

Wilson, K.D.P. 2003. Artificial Reefs and Reef Fish in Hong Kong.

Citation: Thierry, C., Sadovy, Y. & To, A.W.L. 2008. Epinephelus bruneus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 March 2015.
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