Study shows grouper populations in serious decline

Article Summary:

Wetpixel Senior Moderator Luiz Rocha has co- authored a paper published in the journal Fish and Fisheries. The paper reports on a study carried out as a part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, and involved a team of scientists spending the past ten years assessing the status of 163 grouper species worldwide. They report that 20 species (12%) are at risk of extinction if current overfishing trends continue, and an additional 22 species (13%) are Near Threatened. The team estimated that at least 90,000,000 groupers were captured in 2009. This represents more than 275,000 metric tones of fish, an increase of 25% from 1999, and 1600% greater than 1950 figures. These numbers are considered unsustainable as they are slow to reach sexual maturity and are easily fished when in breeding aggregations. (Photo: Luiz Rocha)