Sagmariasus verreauxi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Palinuridae

Scientific Name: Sagmariasus verreauxi
Species Authority: (H. Milne Edwards, 1851)
Common Name(s):
English Green Rock Lobster
Jasus verreauxi (H. Milne Edwards, 1851)
Palinurus verreauxi H. Milne Edwards, 1851

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.
Sagmariasus verreauxi has been assessed as Least Concern. This species has a broad geographic range and is found in high abundance. Although this species is commercially harvested, catch per unit effort data indicates no major declines at the present time. There are a number of management plans in place for this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from eastern Australia and New Zealand, including the Chatham and Kermadec Islands (Holthuis 2002). Specifically, it is known from Tweed Heads, New South Wales to Tasmania (Montgomery and Craig 2005). It is mainly found in the north of the North Island, New Zealand (Ministry of Fisheries Science Group 2008). In Australia, it is more abundant at higher latitudes (above 34 degrees), compared to the southern part of its distribution (Montgomery and Craig 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (New South Wales, Tasmania); New Zealand (Chatham Is., Kermadec Is., North Is., South Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):155
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a common species, and is commercially harvested in both Australia and New Zealand (Montgomery et al. 2009).

 In Australia this species is part of a managed fishery, where there are 131 shareholders which are bound by a total allowable commercial catch (TACC) (Montgomery et al. 2009). This is set by the New South Wales Fisheries Management Act 1994 and is divided between the shareholders (Montgomery et al. 2009). In 2007-2008 this was set at 124 tonnes, bringing in a revenue of around $5 million Australian dollars  (Liggins et al. 2008, in Montgomery et al. 2009). This species is usually caught in a baited trap, although a small proportion can be taken by hand (Montgomery et al. 2009). 
The data for this species have shown that landings have been fairly consistent over the past thirty years (FishStat 2000). However, CPUE has declined between 1969-1970 and 1991-1992 for New South Wales stock:
CPUE (kg per fisher trap month) data:
1969-1970: 13, 1970-1971: 9.5, 1971-1972: 18, 1972-1973: 9.5, 1973-1974: 9, 1974-1975: 13, 1975-1976: 7, 1976-1977: 8 1977-1978: 7, 1978-1979: 7, 1979-1980: 5, 1980-1981: 4, 1981-1982: 5, 1982-1983: 4, 1983-1984: 4, 1984-1985: 4, 1985-1986: 4, 1986-1987: 4, 1987-1988: 4, 1988-1989: 4, 1989-1990: 3, 1990-1991: 3, 1991-1992: 3 (Montgomery 1993).

The landings (which do not account for increase in effort or restrictions in quotas) are given below (tonnes): Australia (Fishstat 2000).
1978: 93
1979: 68 
1980: 108 
1981: 99 
1982: 144
1983: 155 
1984: 158 1985: 167 
1986: 150 
1987: 200 
1988: 210 
1989: 79
1990: 87 
1991: 86
1992: 98 
1993: 100 
1994: 143 
1995: 151 
1996:  97 
1997: 104 
1998: 108 
1999: 110  
2000: 117 
2001:  103 
2002: 103 
2003: 122 
2004: 108 
2005: 99 
2006: 101 
2007: 110

New Zealand
In New Zealand, this species is also taken during recreational fishing, for customs by Maori and also illegally, for which there are no precise data (Ministry of Fisheries Science (Comps.) 2008). The status of the stock of this species is unknown (Ministry of Fisheries Science (Comps.) 2008).

As this species is harvested along with Jasus edwardsii under the name of 'rock lobster', it is often difficult to obtain data for this species alone (Ministry of Fisheries Science Group (Comps.) 2008).

The landings (which do not account for increase in effort or restrictions in quotas) are given below (tonnes):
Year: New Zealand (Fishstat 2000)
1978:  40
1979:  40
1980:  40
1981:  40
1982:  40
1983:  40
1984:  32
1985:  14
1986:  8
1987:  0.5
1988:  0.5
1989:  0.5
1990:   2
1991:  21
1992:  15
1993:  8
1994:  5
1995:  8
1996:  64
1997:  54
1998:  16
1999:  13
2000:  35
2001:  10
2002:  8
2003: 16
2004: 19
2005: 19
2006: 29
2007: 29
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species usually occurs between 0-155 m (Holthuis 1991). Juveniles settle on rocky reefs upon maturation while sub-adults migrate to the northern tip of the northern Island where they settle and breed. Adults commonly occur on low-lying reefs. They are found on sand, gravel and rocks (Holthuis 2002). This species is known to migrate, from higher to lower latitudes for spawning (Montgomery et al. 2009). There appears to be a seasonal migration between continental shelves during winter months to shallow near-shore reef environments during summer (Montgomery et al. 2009).

The Australian population is genetically different to the New Zealand population (Montgomery and Craig 2005).
Generation Length (years):12

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is commercially harvested for food. Holthuis (1991) notes that fishing is greatest in the northern parts of this species range; however landings data for both areas are misleading as they are often aggregates of other species in the same genus/sub-genus.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Commercial exploitation of this species does not pose a significant threat to the population numbers at the present time. There are no other known major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are some specific conservation measures in place for this species. In Australia, Queensland fisheries have imposed a minimum size restriction (carapace width of 104 mm) for this species (Sumpton et al. 2004). There is a tagging system in place in New Zealand which is designed to reduce illegal harvesting (Yandle 2006). Additionally the 'National Rock Lobster Management Group' created in 1992, and the Rock Lobster Steering Committee have developed a harvest strategy to manage stock levels, which has incorporated traditional Maori cultural concerns (Yandle 2006). A research programme is also in place in New Zealand (Yandle 2006). Various minimum legal tail sizes depending on the location and whether for commercial or recreational purposes are imposed (New Zealand Government 2008). In Australia for commercial and recreational fisheries, the standard carapace lengths are between 104 mm and 180 mm (Montgomery et al. 2009). This species can also be found in a number of Marine Protected Areas (Freeman 2008).

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.3. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.5. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy-Mud
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.1. Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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

Bibliography [top]

FISHSTAT Plus. 2000. Universal software for fishery statistical time series Version 2.3.

Freeman, D.J. 2008. The Ecology of Spiny Lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) on Fished and Unfished Reefs. The University of Auckland.

Heller, C. 1862. Neue Crustaceen, gesammelt wihrend der Weltumsegllmg der I;. K. Fregatte Novara. Verhandl. K. Zool-bot. Gesell. Wien, Xll, I Abth: p. 519-528 [1-10].

Holthuis, L.B. 2002. The Indo-Pacific scyllarine lobsters (Crustacea, Decapoda, Scyllaridae). Zoosystema 24(3): 499-529.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2011).

Kirk, T.W. 1880. Description of a new species of Palinurus. Transactions Proceedings New Zealand Institute 12(313): 314.

Liggins, G.W., Miller, M.E., McLeod, J.R. 2008. Resource assessment - lobster. Unpublished report to the Total Allowable Catch Setting and Review Committee.. NSW Department of Primary Industries, Sydney.

Milne Edwards, H. 1851. Observations sur le squelette tégumentaire des Crustacés décapodes, et sur la morphologie de ces animaux. Annales Sciences Naturelles Paris Zoology 3(16): 221-291.

Ministry of Fisheries Science Group (Comps.). 2008. Report from the Mid-Year Fishery Assessment Plenary, November 2008: stock assessments and yield estimates. Ministry of Fisheries, Wellington.

Ministry of Fisheries Science Group (Comps.). 2008. Rock Lobster (CRA and PHC) (Jasus edwardsii, Sagmariasus verreauxi) Koura papatea, Pawharu. New Zealand.

Montgomery, S.S. and Craig, J,R. 2005. Distribution and abundance of recruits of the eastern rock lobster (Jasus verreauxi) along the coast of New South Wales, Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 39: 619-628.

Montgomery, S.S., Liggins, G.W., Craig, J.R. and McLeod, J.R. 2009. Growth of the spiny lobster Jasus verreauxi (Decapoda: Palinuridae) off the east coast of Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43: 113-123.

Ortmann, A.E. 1891. Zoologische Jahrbücher Systematik. Geographie und Biologie 6: 15, 21, 37, 56.

Stebbing T R R. 1893. A history of Crustacea recent malacostraca. Treubner and Co Ltd., London.

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. Queesland Government Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

Yandle, T. 2006. Sharing natural resource management responsibility: Examining the New Zealand rock lobster co-management experience. Policy Science 39: 249-278.

Citation: MacDiarmid, A., Cockcroft, A. & Butler, M. 2011. Sagmariasus verreauxi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T170017A6708366. . Downloaded on 16 January 2017.
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