Scyllarides haanii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Scyllaridae

Scientific Name: Scyllarides haanii (de Haan, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Aesop Slipper Lobster
Scyllarus haani de Haan, 1841

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): MacDiarmid, A., Cockcroft, A. & Butler, M.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Livingstone, S. & Richman, N.
Contributor(s): Batchelor, A., De Silva, R., Dyer, E., Kasthala, G., Lutz, M.L., McGuinness, S., Milligan, H.T., Soulsby, A.-M. & Whitton, F.
Scyllarides haanii has been assessed as Least Concern. Although not abundant, it has a wide range. Large-scale fishery operations no longer pose a threat to this species. Small-scale by-catch of this species poses no major threat to the global population.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed in the Indo-West Pacific region from the Red Sea and the western Indian Ocean (Mauritius), to Japan (Sagami Bay), Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hawaii, Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, West Australia) (Holthuis 1991, DEWHA 2009), and New Zealand (A. MacDiarmid, pers. comm. 2009). This species is likely to have a larger distribution than is currently known. The type locality of this species is probably Nagasaki in Kyushu, Japan (Hotlhuis 1991).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia); China; Djibouti; Egypt (Egypt (African part), Sinai); Eritrea; Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Mauritius; New Zealand; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; United States (Hawaiian Is.); Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):200
Upper depth limit (metres):10
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands populations of this species should be treated as one metapopulation (DiNardo and Moffitt 2007).
There is very little specific population information available for this species, however it has been described as "apparently nowhere abundant and in some places even uncommon" (Chan 1998).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is reportedly captured on coral reefs and rocky bottoms with recorded depths ranging from 10 to 135 m (Chan 1998, Sumpton et al. 2004) to 60 to 200 m (DiNardo and Moffitt 2007). There is disagreement over at what depth this species is most commonly found: less than 50 m (Chan 1998); greater than 80 m (Sumpton et al. 2004); and between 100 to 150 m (DiNardo and Moffitt 2007).

This solitary species shelters during the day and forages at night, feeding on a diet mainly consisting of bivalves (Lavalli et al. 2007). It inhabits the near coastal waters in winter to early spring (when water temperatures are at their lowest), and migrates to deeper waters in summer for breeding requirements (Sumpton et al. 2004).
This species is probably the largest of the genus with a maximum body length of 50.5 cm, although it most commonly reaches between 16 and 30 cm (Chan 1998).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

In Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea and Japan, this species is often incidental catch in lobster pots, and if caught is used for food and offered for sale at local markets (Holthuis 1991).

In Hawaii there has been a commercial lobster fishery in operation in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) for 20 years, primarily targeting the Spiny Lobster (Panulirus marginatus), and the Blunt Slipper Lobster (Scyllarides squammosus). Two other species, including this species and the Green Spiny Lobster (P. penicillatus), are caught incidentally in low abundance (Pooley and Kawamoto 1998). Landings of all species were showing reductions, and in 2000 the NWHI fishery was closed as a precautionary measure due to increasing uncertainty of the population models used to assess stock status. Later on that year the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve was established which may prohibit commercial lobster fishing in the NWHI indefinitely (DiNardo and Moffitt 2007). For catch data from the NWHI fishery whilst it was in operation see DiNardo and Moffitt (2007).

In 1997 the Queensland Fisheries Service (QFS), authorised a developmental trap fishery in southeast Queensland targeting this species and S. squammosus, after it was believed that an undeveloped Slipper Lobster (Scyllarides spp.) resource existed in the waters to the south of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP). Prior to that time these species were landed only as a minor by-catch of prawn and scallop trawl fisheries (these species have now been removed from the 'Permitted Trawl Species' able to be retained by trawl fishers) (Sumpton et al. 2004).

Development of this trap fishery began in July 1999, and was monitored for an initial period ending June 2003. Participants in the fishery required a permit that was renewed annually (subject to satisfactory performance by the permit holders). However, by 2004 there were no active harvesting permits and further development of the fishery was awaiting discussions between fisheries managers and stakeholders (Sumpton et al. 2004).

As part of the developmental fishery it was originally proposed that other lobster species would also be able to be taken but to date only Scyllarides spp. and a limited number of Panulirus spp. have been caught. To some extent this was a result of the limitation of the fishery to relatively shallow depths < 200 m, which is not the preferred habitat of many of the species capable of entering baited traps (Sumpton et al. 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve was established in 2000 which may prohibit commercial lobster fishing in the NWHI indefinitely, therefore this fishery does not pose a continuing threat to this species (DiNardo and Moffitt 2007).

The by-catch of this species in other regions may cause localised declines.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

The management plan of the Hawaii fishery incorporated: closed seasons, minimum size limits, no retention of egg bearing females, the incorporation of escape vents in pots, accurate recording of log data, and revised yearly quotas (Pooley and Kawamoto 1998, Sumpton et al. 2004).

In the event that the trap fishery in southeast Queensland progresses beyond developmental status, a formal process would be undertaken to develop appropriate management strategies. Within the area of the fishery, a number of closed waters have been declared under the Fisheries Regulations 1995, and no fishing is allowed in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP). All commercial fishers in Queensland have a legal obligation to provide information about their fishing activity via daily logbook reporting (Sumpton et al. 2004).

Other regulations implemented would include:

  • The size of the apparatus in waters shallower than 100 m: 1 ­m­3 in overall volume, and in waters 100 m and deeper 195 cm x 120 cm x 120 cm
  • Floats to be at least 15 cm in diameter
  • Floats for traps set in strings - orange in colour
  • Floats for single traps - any colour except orange
  • Floats must have markings showing the owner's boat name and boat marking
  • Not more than 200 traps per operator
  • Each operator may have 210 traps in possession but those in excess of 200 must be unassembled
  • In waters less than 20 m - traps set singly
  • In waters 20 - 100 m - set in strings of up to 25
  • In waters over 100 m - set in strings of up to 50
  • It is prohibited to take berried females or setose females (Sumpton et al. 2004).

Because this Queensland trap fishery only operated on a very limited developmental scale, and over a time frame of only four years, the lobster stocks are not likely to have been seriously affected. The current permit conditions provide the Queensland Fisheries Service (QFS) 'extensive powers to ensure the sustainable management of the fishery, allowing the suspension or cancellation of permits if a deleterious effect on stocks of Slipper and Spiny Lobster or any other fish species (including bycatch and byproduct) has been caused or is imminent or may be reasonably be expected due to activities under the permit' (Sumpton et al. 2004).

For a comprehensive report on the Queensland developmental trap fishery, see Sumpton et al. (2004).

A decline in global captures of Scyllaridae has been documented, although information on specific species is lacking (Spanier and Lavalli 2007).

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Unknown
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Past, Likely to Return ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Unknown ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Past, Likely to Return ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:No/Negligible Impact: 0 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Chan, T.Y. 1998. Lobsters. FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 2. Cephalopods, crustaceans, holothurians and sharks: 973-1044.

de Haan, W. 1833-1850. Crustacea. In: de Siebold, P.F. (ed.), Fauna Japonica sive descriptio animalium, quae in itinere per Japoniam, jussu et auspiciis superiorum, qui summum in India Batava Imperium tentent, suscepto, annis 1823-1830 collegit, notis, observationibus et adumbrationibus illustravit:, pp. ix-xvi, vii-xvii, i-xxxi,1-243,.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA). 2009. Australian Faunal Directory. Canberra Available at:

DiNardo, G.T. and Moffitt, R.B. 2007. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Lobster Fishery: A Targeted Slipper Lobster Fishery. In: Lavalli, K.L. and Spanier, E (eds), The Biology and Fisheries of the Slipper Lobster, pp. 243-262. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida.

Holthuis, L.B. 1991. Marine lobsters of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species of interest to fisheries known to date. FAO species catalogue 13(125). FAO, Rome.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2017).

Lavalli, K.L., Spanier, E. and Grasso, F. 2007. Behaviour and Sensory Biology of Slipper Lobsters. In: Lavalli, K.L. and Spanier, E (eds), The Biology and Fisheries of the Slipper Lobster, pp. 133-182. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida.

Pooley, S.G. and Kawamoto, K.E. 1998. Annual Report of the 1995-97 Western Pacific Lobster Fishery. Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Honolulu.

Spanier, E. and Lavalli, K.L. 2007. Slipper Lobster Fisheries - Present Status and Future Perspectives. In: Lavalli, K.L. and Spanier, E (eds), The Biology and Fisheries of the Slipper Lobster, pp. 377-392. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida.

Sumpton, W., Campbell, M., McLennan, M., Gaddes, S., Rayn, S. and Hagedoorn, W. 2004. Ecological Assessment of the Developmental Slipper Lobster Fishery in South-East Queensland Waters. Queensland Government Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

Citation: MacDiarmid, A., Cockcroft, A. & Butler, M. 2011. Scyllarides haanii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T169954A6691901. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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