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Albula argentea

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII ALBULIFORMES ALBULIDAE

Scientific Name: Albula argentea
Species Authority: (Forster, 1801)
Synonym/s:
Albula erythrocheilos Valenciennes, 1847
Albula forsteri Valenciennes, 1847
Albula neoguinaica Valenciennes, 1847
Esox argenteus Forster, 1801
Synodus argenteus Schneider, 1801
Taxonomic Notes: The nomenclature of the bonefish family Albulidae is currently in a state of revision. Until recently, bonefish were considered to be comprised of two species, the circumglobal Albula vulpes and the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Albula nemoptera; however, new molecular genetic information indicates that there are at least eight morphologically indistinguishable, but genetically distinct species (Colborn et al. 2001). Wallace and Tringali (2010) have recently found nine distinct species. Randall and Bauchot (1999) make a compelling argument that A. neoguinaica is a junior synonym of A. forsteri. Colborn et al. (2001) do not list A. forsteri;  this species is referred to as A. neoguinaica. Eschmeyer currently lists A. forsteri and A. neoguinaica as synonyms of Albula argentea (Forster 1801).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-03-29
Assessor/s: Adams, A., Guindon, K., Horodysky, A., MacDonald, T., McBride, R., Shenker, J. & Ward, R.
Reviewer/s: Harwell, H. & Raynal, M.
Facilitator/s: Harwell, H.
Justification:
This species has a wide range throughout the Indo-Pacific. Given recent taxonomic changes, there is very little known about the life history, ecology, population status, or threats acting upon this species. Therefore, it is listed as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has been reported from Hawaii, Fiji and the Northern Territory of Australia (Colborn et al. 2001, referred to as A. neoguinaica). Eschmeyer lists the range as Indo-West Pacific, including Western Australia east to Fiji and French Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands (Eschmeyer 2010). It has also been reported from Madagascar and Japan.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Fiji; French Polynesia; Indonesia; Japan; Madagascar; New Caledonia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; United States (Hawaiian Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: As multiple species within the genus are morphologically indistinguishable, there is limited species-specific information available on population status. It is possible that A. argentea (referred to as A. forsteri) occurs at low frequency at Palmyra Atoll. It is present in Hawaii but possibly occurs in small numbers or occupies unsurveyed habitats (Friedlander et al. 2008). Commercial landings of bonefish in Hawaii have declined from over 136.4 mt in 1900 to only 1.2 mt in 2001. This figure, however, includes all bonefish species in Hawaii (Friedlander et al. 2008). Capture of recruits (CPUE) of Albula spp. in Kahana, Hawaii was highest in 1999 and has declined by 79% since that time (Friedlander et al. 2008).

A survey from the Fisheries Division of Kiribati conducted in 1995 shows that bonefish was the second-most common species caught, accounting for 7% of total catch. Gill nets caught 82% of the bonefish, with handlines providing the remainder (18%) of the catch (Friedlander et al. 2008). In Tarawa Lagoon, Kiribati, recent studies have demonstrated significant declines in abundance and average size of bonefish in the catch between 1977 and the late 1990s. The annual take of bonefish from Tarawa Lagoon is between 1,000,000 and 5,000,000 fish per year, but no stock assessment has been conducted (Friedlander et al. 2008). According to Beets (2000), this fishery may actually represent A. glossodonta.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Research in Hawaii suggests that adults of this species appear to utilize deeper habitats than A. glossodonta but juvenile bonefish found along sandy beaches within the range are primarily A. argentea (previously known as A. forsteri). Larvae of A. argentea are morphologically indistinguishable from A. glossodonta (Friedlander et al. 2008). Shaklee and Tamaru (1981) report catching juveniles of this species and A. glossodonta in the same habitat of Hawaii. No additional information exists on the habitat and ecology of this species. The maximum size recorded for this species is 70 cm (TL) (Randall 1995).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Commercial landings of bonefish in Hawaii have decreased dramatically over the past few decades, presumably because of over fishing and loss of habitat, from over 300,000 lbs in 1900 to less than 3,000 lbs since 2002. The composition of the fishery is unknown; at present the assumption is that A. glossodonta is the primary species but this have not been genetically verified.  

Heavy fishing pressure and degradation of habitats at Tarawa and Kiritimati Atolls have resulted in the loss of pre-spawning staging sites and spawning migration routes, which may be responsible for the observed declines in bonefish catches, average size, and sex ratios at these locations (Friedlander et al. 2008).

Additional threats to this species are unknown.



Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation actions in place. However, it likely occurs in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in parts of its range.
Citation: Adams, A., Guindon, K., Horodysky, A., MacDonald, T., McBride, R., Shenker, J. & Ward, R. 2012. Albula argentea. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 April 2014.
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