Paralabrax nebulifer 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Serranidae

Scientific Name: Paralabrax nebulifer (Girard, 1854)
Common Name(s):
English Barred sand bass, Sand bass, Sea bass
French Serran farlot
Spanish Cabrilla de arena, Cabrilla verde de arena
Labrax nebulifer Girard, 1854

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-05-01
Assessor(s): Smith-Vaniz, B, Robertson, R., Dominici-Arosemena, A., Molina, H., Salas, E. & Guzman-Mora, A.G.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
This species is restricted to southern California, Baja California, and the Gulf of Mexico, and is important in recreational fisheries. Populations in California appear to be stable given the closure of the commerical fishery and implementation of catch size limits in recreational fisheries. Furthermore, this species is expected to benefit from the implementation of a system of effective no-take Marine Protected Areas in Southern California. It is listed as Least Concern. However, given that it is still heavily fished in many parts of its range, this species should continue to be carefully monitored.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is found from southern California to the tip of Baja California, and the southwest Gulf of California.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):185
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information for this species. This is a common species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This reef-associated species is found on sand substrata among or near rocks from shallow areas to about 185m depth, however it is most common in above 30m. Juveniles feed on benthic invertebrates (crabs, bivalves, and mysids) and rarely fish; while adults prey on fishes (especially Porichthys notatus) and also on crustaceans (Heemstra 1995).

A juvenile barred reaches sexual maturity at 3 to 5 years at a length of 7 to 10.5 in. The oldest known barred sand bass was determined to be 24 years old (California Fish and Game, 2004).

Barred sand bass gather to breed over sandy bottoms at depths of 60 to 120 ft in the late spring and summer months. Spawning occurs from April through November, usually peaking in July. Barred sand bass produce numerous small, free-drifting eggs that enter the plankton in coastal waters. In the early 1970s, evidence was presented that tumors,
deformities, and other anomalies found in barred sand bass may have been linked to industrial and domestic wastes discharged into the nearshore environment. Reports of such abnormalities have decreased over the past two decades (California Fish and Game, 2004).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is an important game fish. Since the late 1970s, this species has consistently ranked among the top ten species in the southern California marine sport fish catch (California Fish and Game, 2004). Annual landings from all sport fishing modes (shore, pier,private boat, CPFVs, etc.) have averaged about 846,000 fish per year since 1980, with a peak landing of 2.1 million fish in 1988, and CPFV data indicates that the catch of barred sand bass generally increased from 1975 through 2001 (California Fish and Game, 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Commercial fishing of this species has been prohibited in California since the 1950's. In addition, size limits of 12-inches minimum size apply for sport fishing with a bag limit of 10 Paralabrax spp. This species' distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas in southern California currently being developed that will offer greatly enhanced protection.

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
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Sport hunting/specimen collecting
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

California Department of Fish and Game. 2004. Annual Status of the Fisheries Report through 2003. California Department of Fish and Game, Marine Region.

CONAMP. 2007. Comisión Nacional de Áreas Protegidas de México (National Commission of Protected Areas of Mexico). Available at:

Froese, R., Palomares, M. and Pauly, D. 2002. Estimation of life history key facts of fishes. Available at:

Heemstra, P.C. 1995. Serranidae. Meros, serranos, guasetas, enjambres, baquetas, indios, loros, gallinas, cabrillas, garropas. FAO, Rome.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

IUCN and UNEP. 2014. The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). Cambridge, UK. Available at: .

Robertson, D.R. and Allen, G.R. 2006. Shore fishes of the tropical eastern Pacific: an information system. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panamá.

Citation: Smith-Vaniz, B, Robertson, R., Dominici-Arosemena, A., Molina, H., Salas, E. & Guzman-Mora, A.G. 2010. Paralabrax nebulifer. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T183861A8190471. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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