Groupers of the World: New book published

09 December 2011 | News story

Groupers of the World: A Field and Market Guide, is a new book providing detailed and up to date information on all grouper species.

Groupers are a commercially important family of tropical fish found globally on coral and rocky reefs. The book contains more than 350 colour photographs of both dead and live animals that will aid the identification of these large and colourful fish in all situations.

“Identification is essential for monitoring fisheries and assessing species in the field,” says Dr Matthew Craig, Co-chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group. “This book is invaluable to scientists, divers and fish enthusiasts alike.”

Groupers are an important source of food and income to many people. Vulnerable to over-fishing, 13% of all grouper species are considered to be threatened globally according to the criteria and categories of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Groupers are especially vulnerable to over-fishing because the large mating groups they form, known as aggregations, are easily targeted by fisheries. Some species that once gathered in groups of thousands or even tens of thousands are now classed as Endangered, mainly because of uncontrolled fishing on mating aggregations.

“The formation of mating aggregations, long sexual maturation time and a sex change in some species make many groupers particularly vulnerable to intensive commercial fishing,” says Dr. Yvonne Sadovy, Co-chair, IUCN SSC Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group. “Many aggregations are now fished commercially without regulation so better protection and management is required urgently.”

The IUCN SSC Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group has supported plans for the protection of groupers and mating aggregations. Through its membership, its work has contributed to understanding, conserving and managing groupers in many countries including The Bahamas, Belize, Fiji, Palau, Philippines and USA.

Groupers of the World: A Field and Market Guide will help the future conservation of groupers as it provides detailed up to date information on their biology with important ecological and population information as well as an assessment of their conservation status and distribution maps. This information can be used by fisheries managers and conservationists to develop and implement conservation action to better protect groupers across the world.

Groupers of the World: A Field and Market Guide is available directly from NISC.
 


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.