Etelis carbunculus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Lutjanidae

Scientific Name: Etelis carbunculus Cuvier, 1828
Common Name(s):
English Ruby Snapper, Deepwater Red Snapper, Deepwater Snapper, Jobfish, Queen Snapper, Red Snapper, Ruby-colored Snapper Fish, Snapper, Squirrelfish Snapper
French Perche Rouget, Vivaneau Rouge, Vivaneau Rubis
Spanish Cachudo, Pargo Rubí, Salmonete de lo Alto
Etelis marshi (Jenkins, 1903)
Eteliscus marshi Jenkins, 1903

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-04
Assessor(s): Russell, B., Carpenter, K.E., Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Lawrence, A.
Reviewer(s): Harvey, M.
Contributor(s): Newman, S., Fry, G. & Myers, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ralph, G.
Etelis carbunculus is a widely distributed, deep-water species found throughout the Indo-West Pacific. It can be locally abundant, and is an important food fish throughout parts of its range. Although there is evidence of some localized declines and extirpations as a result of heavy fishing pressure (e.g., off Hawaii), there have not been observed or suspected population declines in most parts of its range due to exploitation events, and additional, quantitative data are lacking. This species is widely distributed in the West Pacific around isolated oceanic islands where it is subject to low fishing pressure and it is assumed that in these areas it is still locally abundant. For this reason, this species is assessed as Least Concern. Monitoring of the population trends and harvest levels of this species in areas where it is heavily fished is recommended.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Ruby Snapper, Etelis carbunculus, is found throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is known from the coast of East Africa to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, across the Indo-Pacific, north to Japan and south to Australia. In the Pacific, its range extends to Hawaii, including French Polynesia (Anderson and Allen 2001). It has also been recorded from Three King's Island in northern New Zealand (Francis et al. 1999) and out to both Christmas and Cocos Islands (S. Newman pers. comm. 2010). This species is found in depths ranging from 90 to 400 m (Anderson and Allen 2001).
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia; Bahrain; Bangladesh; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Comoros; Cook Islands; Disputed Territory (Paracel Is., Spratly Is.); Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); Guam; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Japan; Kenya; Kiribati (Gilbert Is., Kiribati Line Is., Phoenix Is.); Kuwait; Macao; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Qatar; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United Arab Emirates; United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is., Johnston I., Midway Is., US Line Is.); Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central; Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):400
Upper depth limit (metres):90
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population data are limited for this species. There are 95 occurrences on record, globally, with each lot containing between 1 and 3 individuals (Accessed through the Fishnet2 Portal,, 2015-11-02).
In Hawaii, Misa et al. (2013) found that in deep-water, rocky habitat, this species is relatively abundant.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits rock and rocky reefs near the benthos on the continental shelf, and feeds on fishes and large invertebrates such as squids, shrimps and crabs. It also feeds on planktonic organisms (Haight et al. 1993). This demersal species is known from a depth range of 90 to 400 m and is known to occur in aggregations (Anderson and Allen 2001). At Vanuatu (New Hebrides), spawning occurs throughout much of the year, with a peak in activity around November (Allen 1985). In Papua New Guinea, this species was found to be fully mature at 61 cm (Lokani et al. 1990), but in Hawaii, this species is reportedly mature at a length of 30 cm (Misa et al. 2013). The maximum fork length measured for this species is 127 cm (Smith and Kostlan 1991).
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested as food throughout the majority of its range and is an important food fish in some areas (Allen 1985). In Kimbe, Manus and Oro bay, Rabaul CPUE efforts in the late nineties were 0.57 to 1.41 kg/line hr (Chapman 1998) and 0.001-0.31 kg/line hr, respectively (Wellington and Cusack 1998).It is thought that the Australian and the Hawaiian parts of its range are heavily fished. This species is also commercially fished in the Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery (WDWTF) in south-western Australia. This species has been intensely fished in this area and due to its aggregating behavior and preference for restricted continental shelf habitats, it is vulnerable to heavy fishing. As a result it is reported to be over-fished in this area and the catch rates of this species are thought to have fallen (Hunter 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Etelis carbunculus is an important food fish in some areas (Allen 1985). It is mainly caught with bottom longlines and deep handlines, and is marketed fresh or frozen (Anderson and Allen 2001). It is one of the principal species in the Hawaiian offshore handline fishery. There are indications that some fish stocks on Hawaiian banks have been severely over-fished (Haight et al. 1993). Misa et al. (2013) found that E. carbunculus had an estimated spawning potential ratio well below 20%, indicating that the stock is in a state of recruitment overfishing. Fishery reports for the Hawaiian Islands indicate that the catch rates of E. carbunculus have declined steadily since the 1950s, and have dropped more steeply in the last 10 to 15 years. As the catch rates have dropped, so have the proportion of mature fish in the catches (DAR 2002). The Hawaiian landings of this species have dropped from approximately 18,100 kg in 1998 to 10,900 kg in 2003. Moffitt (1980) noted that the CPUE (Catch per Unit Effort) was 0.06 to 0.08 kg/line hr in the North West Hawaiian Islands in 1980. Over the last 40 to 50 years, partial CPUE  has been reduced to half of what it once was (Hawaii's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy 2006). This species is considered locally depleted in the middle Hawaiian Islands, whilst all bottomfish populations are considered relatively healthy in the North Western Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy 2006).
This species is also commercially fished in the Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery (WDWTF) in south-western Australia. This species has been intensely fished in this area and due to its aggregatory behaviour with preference for restricted continental shelf habitats, it is vulnerable to heavy fishing. As a result it is reported to be over-fished in this area and the catch rates of this species are thought to have fallen (Hunter 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures for Etelis carbunculus; however, the distribution of this species intersects within numerous marine protected areas (IUCN and UNEP 2014).
Monitoring of the harvest levels is needed with further research on the extent of the fishery. Conservation measures need to protect important spawning aggregations.

In federal waters of the US Western Pacific, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council manages the Deep 7 bottomfish species. Previously these species were managed under the Bottomfish and Seamount Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, but since 2010 have been managed under the Hawaii Fishery Ecosystem Plan (WPRFMC 2009) (WPFMC 2010). Management measures under the federal plan include a ban on destructive fishing techniques, a prohibition on fishing at Hancock Seamount, size limits, limits on fishing effort, gear restrictions, a recreational bag limit, and catch reporting (WPRFMC 2010). As well, a total allowable catch limit is set for the Deep 7 bottomfish species. For the 2012-13 and 2013-14 fishing years, the annual catch limit was set at 346,000 lbs. (FR 2013). If the catch limits is project to be reached, the fishery for the Deep 7 bottomfish may be closed. If the catch limit is exceeded, the catch limit for the following season may be reduced by the amount of the overage.  In state waters the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (HDAR) part of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, is responsible for fisheries management. Management measures in state waters include annual vessel registration, catch reporting, gear restrictions, minimum sizes (Onaga and Opakapaka) and closed fishing areas (DLNR 2013). If the fishery for the Deep 7 is closed in federal waters because the annual catch limit is reached, the State may close their waters to fishing for the Deep 7 species as well. Management goals for abundance and fishing levels have been established for the Deep 7 complex as a whole but not for individual species (Brodziak et al. 2014). As a result, the impact of the fishery on individual species remains unclear (Blue Ocean Institute 2014).

Citation: Russell, B., Carpenter, K.E., Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Lawrence, A. 2016. Etelis carbunculus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T154999A46634266. . Downloaded on 24 May 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided