SSC Groups

Snapper, Seabream and Grunt

The Snapper, Seabream, and Grunt Specialist Group (SSG SG) works to globally advance research and conservation of over 540 diverse reef and estuarine species in six families of marine fishes, more information on these families is below the slides.
Snapper, Seabream , Grunt, SSC

Snapper, Seabream & Grunt Specialist Group

Co-Chairs: Barry Russell and Ken Lindeman
Red List Authority Coordinator: Barry Russell
2016-2017 Snapper, Seabream and Grunt SG Report

Key features of SSG SG fishes include:

  • They can inhabit nearly every estuarine and marine habitat in shallow tropical through temperate areas of the globe. 
  • The SG includes some of the most iconic fisheries on the planet: many species are sold as “red snapper” and hundreds are regional bread-basket food species.  
  • Data is often very limited, yet evidence suggests that many species are subject to heavy fishing pressure, habitat loss, and climate change effects.
  • As of May 2018, 68% of the SSG SG species have been assessed and published on the IUCN Red List.
  • Conservation planning and actions have focused in part on protecting the spawning aggregations of heavily fished species, as well as juvenile nursery habitats. 

The families in the SSG SG are basal/intermediate percoids and involve many unresolved challenges in taxonomy and systematics.  Based on recent phylogenetic research, the estimated number of species in the six families are as follows:

Family Species Number  
Seabreams and Porgies (Sparidae) 163
Grunts and Sweetlips (Haemulidae) 135
Snappers (Lutjanidae) 112
Threadfin Breams (Nemipteridae) 70
Emperors (Lethrinidae) 44
Fusiliers (Caesionidae) 23
Total Species 547  

Species pictured:  
Yellowback Seabream, Dentex hypselosomus Bleeker, 1854. Japan. Photo courtesy Masato Shiina, Uwajima Fisheries High School, Japan.

Haemulidae  Black Margate, Anisotremus surinamensis (Bloch, 1791). W. Atlantic. Image courtesy S. Atl. Fish. Manag. Council.  

Lutjanidae  Yellowfin Red Snapper, Lutjanus guilcheri Fourmanoir, 1959. Indian Ocean. Image courtesy FAO.

Nemipteridae  Yellowbelly Threadfin Bream, Nemipterus bathybius  Snyder, 1911. W. Pacific. Image courtesy of Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences.

Letherinidae  Red-axil Emperor, Lethrinus conchyliatus  (Smith, 1959). Indo-West Pacific. Painting by R. Swainston, courtesy FAO.

Caesionidae  Capricorn fusilier, Pterocaesio capricornis  Smith & Smith, 1963. W. Indian Ocean. Painting by P. Lastrico, courtesy FAO.

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