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SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

Last updated on 27 March 2018

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Epinephelus morio

SPECIES NAME(s)

Red grouper

COMMON NAMES

Mero

Genetic analyses have shown low genetic variation across red grouper’s US and Mexican distribution suggesting the existence of a single stock, but not ruling out the possibility of several reproductively distinct stocks, supported by distribution discontinuity and life-history traits (Richardson and Gold 1997) (Zatcoff et al. 2004). Until further studies become available, we are using the former structure.

A 2017 study proposes adoption of the concept of a noxicline, or subarea unit, for which EBFM targets and limits can be set, which could be more appropriate for this species in this area (Arreguín-Sánchez et al. 2017). This is not currently being used.

Mexican and US stocks are minimally connected (SEDAR and Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) 2015).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Seasonal closures to protect the spawning season are declared since 2003 and a minimum landing size is defined.
  • A network of marine protected areas is established and protected species identified.
  • Closed area size has increased and data collection improved.
  • There is a group of main target species and then associated species in the multispecies fishery which are identified and quantified.
  • A management plan for red grouper and associated species was implemented in 2007 and updated in 2014 and 2016. This includes regulations for a fleet entry permit system, minimum landing size, gear specifications regulations, seasonal closure windows, and VMS requirements.
  • Gear selectivity improvements have caused the average landed size of red grouper to go up from 44.3cm in 1980-2002, to 51.3 in 2003-2010.
  • A permanent scientific programme has been established to improve biological knowledge of the stocks and environment, aiming to help them recover.
Weaknesses
  • Catch limits are not defined.
  • The stock is “in deterioration” with biomass below limit reference point. 2010 biomass estimates represented a decrease of 60% in comparison with 1980 estimates.
  • Fishing mortality reference points are not defined.
  • The minimum landing size is not adequate according to biological characteristics of the species.
  • There are signs of non-compliance in protected areas.
  • Interaction of the fishery with protected species is not known but vulnerable ones are identified.
  • Data on discards is not available.
  • 40% of artesanal fleet landings were below minimum landing size in 2012.
  • Fleet size and effort limits have been enacted but are not being enforced.
Options
  • Implement annual quotas / catch limits
  • Based on a precautionary approach, the fishing effort should be reduced.
  • Define fisheries reference points
  • Improve compliance
  • Improve data gathering operations

FishSource Scores

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

< 6

Fishers Compliance:

< 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

5.1

Future Health:

< 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Implement and enforce regulations in accordance with the grouper fishery management plan that was published in November 2014.
2. Update and make publicly available the stock assessments for the main target species.
3. Enhance control measures to ensure compliance with fishery regulations, particularly those related to seasonal/spatial closures, minimum legal sizes, and fishing effort.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Contact CONAPESCA and request that they conduct stock assessments for other target species in the multi-species grouper fishery and implement and enforce regulations in accordance with the 2014 multi-species grouper fishery management plan.
2. Encourage your supply chain to participate in SFP’s Gulf of Mexico Snapper Grouper Supplier Roundtable (http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-improvement/snapper-and-grouper).


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Northern Gulf of Mexico US Gulf of Mexico United States Bottom-set longlines
Vertical Lines
NW Atlantic US NW Atlantic United States Hooks and lines
Southern Gulf of Mexico Mexico Gulf of Mexico Mexico Bottom-set longlines
Handlines hand operated
Hooks and lines
Mechanized lines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 27 March 2018

Strengths
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

  • Seasonal closures to protect the spawning season are declared since 2003 and a minimum landing size is defined.
  • A network of marine protected areas is established and protected species identified.
  • Closed area size has increased and data collection improved.
  • There is a group of main target species and then associated species in the multispecies fishery which are identified and quantified.
  • A management plan for red grouper and associated species was implemented in 2007 and updated in 2014 and 2016. This includes regulations for a fleet entry permit system, minimum landing size, gear specifications regulations, seasonal closure windows, and VMS requirements.
  • Gear selectivity improvements have caused the average landed size of red grouper to go up from 44.3cm in 1980-2002, to 51.3 in 2003-2010.
  • A permanent scientific programme has been established to improve biological knowledge of the stocks and environment, aiming to help them recover.
Weaknesses
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 27 March 2018

  • Catch limits are not defined.
  • The stock is “in deterioration” with biomass below limit reference point. 2010 biomass estimates represented a decrease of 60% in comparison with 1980 estimates.
  • Fishing mortality reference points are not defined.
  • The minimum landing size is not adequate according to biological characteristics of the species.
  • There are signs of non-compliance in protected areas.
  • Interaction of the fishery with protected species is not known but vulnerable ones are identified.
  • Data on discards is not available.
  • 40% of artesanal fleet landings were below minimum landing size in 2012.
  • Fleet size and effort limits have been enacted but are not being enforced.
Options
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

  • Implement annual quotas / catch limits
  • Based on a precautionary approach, the fishing effort should be reduced.
  • Define fisheries reference points
  • Improve compliance
  • Improve data gathering operations
RECOMMENDATIONS
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Implement and enforce regulations in accordance with the grouper fishery management plan that was published in November 2014.
2. Update and make publicly available the stock assessments for the main target species.
3. Enhance control measures to ensure compliance with fishery regulations, particularly those related to seasonal/spatial closures, minimum legal sizes, and fishing effort.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Contact CONAPESCA and request that they conduct stock assessments for other target species in the multi-species grouper fishery and implement and enforce regulations in accordance with the 2014 multi-species grouper fishery management plan.
2. Encourage your supply chain to participate in SFP’s Gulf of Mexico Snapper Grouper Supplier Roundtable (http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-improvement/snapper-and-grouper).

1.STOCK STATUS

Stock Assessment
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

A formal stock assessment of this stock is not available; a Productivity Susceptibility Analysis found the stock to be highly vulnerable (Monterey Bay Aquarium SeaFoodWatch 2017).

Two other types of informal stock assessments have been undertaken to assess the status of this stock: a) Dynamic model of Production (Schaefer) that allows estimate the optimal level of fishing effort and the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) based on catch and effort data from 1984 to 2009 and b) Virtual Population Analysis (VPA) model that allows estimate the Fishing mortality index, number of individuals per age and year and the recruitment, that was based on data from 1980 to 2012 (Monroy et al. 2010).

Scientific Advice
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 27 March 2018

The National Fisheries Institute (Instituto Nacional de Pesca, INAPESCA) belongs to the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación, SAGARPA) and coordinates and conducts scientific and technological research on fisheries and aquaculture resources and provides the advice for CONAPESCA. Since 2000 INAPESCA creates the National Fisheries Chart (Carta Nacional Pesquera, CNP) which should be updated yearly and is developed under the Fisheries Law. The CNP constitutes a state of the art review of Mexican fisheries (by species or group of species) and defines guidelines, strategies and measures for conservation, protection and management of the fishing resources. No formal scientific advice for a catch limit is known to exist for the grouper fishery but only recommendations based on the status of the stock.

In accordance with the precautionary approach, the last CNP (SAGARPA 2012) recommended a reduction in Fishing mortality (F) of 20% over five years and in the fishing effort (to attain 1980s levels) as well as improvement on research about bycatch species with economic value – black grouper Mycteroperca bonaci, gag M. microlepis and yellowfin grouper M. venenosa -, special fishing licenses in the Yucatán peninsula. (SAGARPA-INAPESCA 2010) also defend the implementation of annual quotas.

Annual quotas and onboard observers are proposed by the scientific programme, initially to the industrial fleet (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016). These were first proposed in 2006.

Reference Points
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

Biomass in 1958 is considered as virgin biomass level, B0, and was estimated at 248,548 tons. The target reference point for biomass Btrp, level attained in 1976, is set at 124,478 tons; the limit reference point Blim, reached in 1982, is estimated at 78,945 tons (SAGARPA-INAPESCA 2010). However, according with the last stock assessment (Monroy et al. 2010) and regarding the poor condition of the stock a new Blim was defined. Since 2012 Blim has been set at 52,000t, the average estimated biomass from 1995-2008 (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014). No reference points are defined for fishing mortality.

Current Status
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 27 March 2018

The stock is considered to be “in deterioration” for years, based on the stock assessment results, reduction of the CPUE values in the commercial fleet and the lower abundance indices obtained in the joined surveys undertaken by Mexico-Cuba (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014). Biomass in 2012 (about 45,000 tons) was below the minimum biomass reference point (Blim). Current fishing effort, catches and biological surveys are not available.

Catches of target species of the multi-species fishery, including all fleets operating, are composed of 47% Black grouper Mycteroperca bonaci, 44.1% of Red grouper, 3.1% of Mutton snapper Lutjanus analis. In the artisanal sector, Red grouper is 56.7% of the catch but proportions depends on the fishing area and season (SAGARPA-INAPESCA 2010).

The 2014 IUCN Red List assessment considered this species to be Near Threatened, with landings of this high value species falling and value remaining high (Carpenter, K.E. et al. 2015).

Trends
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

Biomass of red grouper has been decreasing progressively since 1958, with a reduction of 79.6% from 1958 to 2009. Is below Btrp from 1978 and Blim since 1983. The stock is considered to be overexploited since 1982 (Monroy et al. 2010).

Total catches have been oscillating in a decreasing trend, reaching around 17,000 tons in 1970-1975. The historical minimum was attained in 2004 at 5,300 tons. Last year’s shown an increase mainly due to artisanal sector and catches of industrial fleet have been fluctuating around 6,000 tons. Catches of the Cuban fleet have been decreasing to residual values in the last years (1% of total catches) (SAGARPA-INAPESCA 2010). Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) decreased 51%, with 2,837 Kg/fishing trip in 1984-1990 to 1,394 Kg/fishing trip in 1996-2008 (SAGARPA 2012).

Between 1980-2010, the fishery caught a great proportion of undersized fishes which caused a great pressing under the juveniles not allowing the reproduction of these individuals. This situation led to the overfishing of this species (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014). 2010 biomass estimates represented a decrease of 60% in comparison with 1980 estimates.

Landings figures and biomass estimates have not been updated since 2011, however a raft of management schemes have been introduced since then, offering some hope that the negatively-trending situation can be addressed. However, many of these schemes target the industrial fishery, and the extent to which they will address the effect of the artesanal fleet on the stock is unknown.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

Managers' Decisions
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 27 March 2018

The National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Comissión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca, CONAPESCA) belongs to SAGARPA and is the regulatory agency, in charge of management, coordination and policy development of marine resources. The fishery is not regulated by catch limits for the Mexican fleet (artisanal and industrial fleets). DOF 2012 recommends reducing fleet size to levels which will restock the fish to 1980's levels and has set effort level limits to 28,800 total fishing days across the 320-vessel fleet, as well as mandating a 20% drop in F levels in 5 years, i.e. by 2017 (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016).

From 2003 to 2005, a seasonal fishing closure was set because of the poor status of red grouper stock (below the limit and target biological reference points) and to protect the reproduction period and area in the Yucatán peninsula (including Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo Mexican water states). In 2006 and 2007, after a biomass recovery and increase of the juvenile fraction of the population, the closure was maintained from 15 February – 15 March, prohibiting the use of bottom hooks and lines in a defined area. This continues today (2017) (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016). Fishing is also not allowed in specific areas defined for protected species (SAGARPA 2012)(SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016).

In 2007, the Mexican Official Standard NOM-065-PESC-2007 set several management measures for the grouper fishery particularly for the artisanal sector of the fleet: gillnets and spearfishing (fisgas) are not allowed; minimum landing size at 30,9cm from 2007 to May 2010 and at 36,3cm since 2010 (SAGARPA 2012) (Diario Oficial de la Federación, DOF) (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016). Gear limits regarding the number of hooks and lines and mandating the installation of VMS were also introduced (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014).

A management plan for the red grouper fishery and associated species in the Yucatán peninsula was published in November 2014 and will be implemented in 2015 (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014). The development and publication of this Management Plan was undertaken by INAPESCA while the implementation will be done by CONAPESCA, according with the laws and regulations in place. The main goals are: increase the closed season to protect the biomass of the red group and associated species, increase the minimum landing size to protect the juveniles, definition of closed areas to the fishery and reduce the fishing mortality level. This stock and associated species are expected to recovery by 2022. The management plan will be revised after 3 years of implementation (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014).

The FIP is delivering results already with increased size of area closures and better data collection (CeDePesca 2017)​.

Recovery Plans
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

A management plan for the red grouper fishery and associated fisheries in the Yucatán peninsula is in place since November 2014 (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014)(SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016). This stock and associated species are expected to recovery by 2022 (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014) however the success of these plans will depend on how strictly they are enforced, and whether they are regularly updated to adapt to the changing situation.

Compliance
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

Traditionally, three fleets have been active; Mexican industrial (about 515 vessels) and artisanal vessels (about 1,850 vessels) and a small fishery specific Cuban industrial fleet. However, the last one seems to be no longer active (Scott 2014). The artisanal fishery represents about 55% of the total catch (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014) and they are known to catch immature fish (40% below MLS, most are immature) (Coronado and Salas 2011), a serious concern for management efforts.

Illegal fishing is detected in Natural Park Arrecife Alacranes as well as in National Park Arrecifes de Cozumel. Control measures are considered insufficient and inefficient and also in Reserve of Biosphere Arrecifes de Sian Ka’an. Goals and actions for fisheries comprised in the management plan of National Park Arrecifes de Cozumel have not yet been accomplished (SAGARPA 2012).

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is installed on the industrial vessels since 2010. However, for example in Yucatan, the number of inspectors is very small (only 8 inspectors) to enforce regulations in ~4,200 artesanal vessels (Scott 2014). Nonetheless, frequency of enforcement events has steadily increased in line with increasingly numerous inspections (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

ETP Species
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 27 March 2018

Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricate (Critically endangered; (Mortimer and Donnelly 2008)) and loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta are the main marine species within Biosphere Reserve “Ría Celestún” that can interact with the fishery. Green turtle Chelonia mydas (Endangered; (Seminoff 2004)), leatherback Dermochelys coriacea (Vulnerable) and hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (Critically endangered; (Mortimer and Donnelly 2008)) nest in all islands of the Marine National Park Arrecife Alacranes. Reports of interactions with the fishery are lacking but spatial overlap with the longline fishery would be expected to result in bycatch.

Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Least concern) is also distributed in Gulf of Mexico and there is no data for Tamaulipas. There are recorded interactions (death and permanent injuries) with fishing vessels operating, in general (SAGARPA 2012), but no reports of bycatch (or any mention at all) in recent reports (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016).

Specific studies about the interaction of the fishery with Protected, Endangered and Threatened (PET) species are required (SAGARPA 2012).

Tropical coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea and within the fishing area are considered to be subject to a “low level” and “high level” of threat (DOF 2010). Some of the coral species identified are in IUCN Red list: staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis (Critically Endangered), fragile saucer coral Agaricia fragilis (Data deficient); lettuce coral A. agaricites, grooved brain coral Diploria labyrinthiformis, symmetrical brain coral D. strigosa, smooth flower coral Eusmilia fastigiata, spiny flower coral Mussa angulosa, mustard hill coral Porites astreoides, finger coral P. porites, lesser starlet coral Siderastrea radians (all Least concern) and Millepora alcicornis (Least concern). 

Strong sanctions for damaging coral and killing turtles are in place (Scott 2014).

The artesanal fleet mainly focuses on Lutjanus synagris and Ocyurus chrysurus; only 6% total catch is recorded as "other", which  includes four ETP species (Lutjanus campechanus, Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps, Lachnolaimus maximus, Rhomboplites aurorubens) (IUCN 2017). Shark and ray species are reported in the catch but only Sphyrna lewini is considered ETP (Monroy et al. 2010) (Coronado and Salas 2011), constituting <1% catch volumes. Fishing mortality on ETP species is low and cumulative impacts are anticipatd to be low also, though data are lacking. Closed areas/MPAs and closed seasons protect ETP species as well as target species.

Other Target and Bycatch Species
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

Red grouper is the main species of the multispecies fishery. Black grouper, gag and yellowfin grouper comprise the second most important group and then other species such as yellowedge grouper Epinephelus flavolimbatus, speckled hind E. drummondhayi, nassau grouper E. striatus, warsaw grouper E. nigritus are also captured, among others. Bycatch species are jolthead porgy Calamus bajonado, graysby Cephalopholis cruentata, white grunt Haemulon plumieri, mutton snapper Lutjanus analis (SAGARPA 2012) and are in different proportions depending on the fishing area (SAGARPA-INAPESCA 2014). In general, there are about 19 species of serranids associated with this fishery (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014). In the industrial component, red grouper represents 60% of the catch but this proportion seems to be much lower in the artisanal component of the fishery. However, in the artisanal fishery every fish is landed and discards are negligible (Scott 2014).

Habitat

Last updated on 28 February 2018

Due to the biology and habitat preferences of the target species, the handline and longline fisheries operate over, or in close proximity to, sensitive habitat such as coral reefs or outcrops and other live bottom habitats. Specific studies evaluating the impacts of these gears on sensitivie habitat in the Gulf of Mexico and US South Atlantic could not be found, but the impacts are generally considered less severe than mobile gears. 

The ecosystem has been recently modelled, relating components to the environment (Sagarese et al. 2017)​.

Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

Some coral species are not in the IUCN Red list (see summary for PET species), such as Colpophyllia amaranthus, Dichocaenia stokesii, Manicina arolata, Montastrea annularis, M. cavernosa, P. furgata but atoll’s ecosystems are sensitive to impacts and the interaction with the fishery is not well understood.

The spawning aggregations and the seasonal upwelling occurring in the eastern part of the Bank of Campeche were considered as key factors influencing the pattern of population movements. The movement rates of the juveniles were low throughout the year. According to (Arreguín-Sánchez and Arcos-Huitrón 2011), the juveniles were less active than the rest of the population.

(Scott 2014) mentioned that the reduction of groupers biomass could have substantial impacts on the marine systems since their roles as ecosystem engineers and top predators.

Recent modelling advances will improve the ability to manage this species (Grüss et al. 2017).

Adult red grouper distribute over sandy bottoms, and subsequently bottom longline fishing does not represent a notable threat to sensitive reef habitats (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016).

Marine Reserves
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 28 February 2018

A network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) is established in Mexican waters. A special license is to be required to Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, SEMARNAT) to fish in protected areas and each one possess management programs which regulate activities within. Some MPA overlap with the fishing area (federal states of Tamaulipas, Vera Cruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo): National Park Arrecife de Alacranes, Reserve of Biosphere Arrecifes de Sian Ka’an, National Park Arrecifes de Xcalak, Reserve of Biosphere Banco Chinchorro, National Marine Park Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún y Punta Nizuc, Laguna de Términos, Reserve of Biosphere Los Petenes, Reserve of Biosphere Ria Celestún, Reserva of Biosphere Los Tuxtlas, National Park Arrecifes de Cozumel, Arrecifes de Tuxpan.

In Tamaulipas (Rancho Nuevo Beach), Yucatán (beach near Río Lagartos) and Quintana Roo (Isla Contoy Beach) there are Sanctuaries for the protection and conservation of sea turtles. Fishing activities during the nesting period in a buffer area of 4 nautical miles are object of special rules (Agreement D.O.F. el 16 de julio de 2002) (SAGARPA 2012). In 2015, it was established a protection area in Quintana Roo for 22 species, including the red grouper (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016).

The closed area has been expanded due to the ongoing FIP (CeDePesca 2017).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 27 March 2018

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

In November 2014 it was published a management plan to the red grouper fishery and associated fisheries in the Yucatán peninsula. It is expected a recovery of this stock and associated species by 2022 (SAGARPA, 2014). However, no explicit harvest rule is in place. Seasonal closures to protect the spawning season are declared since 2003 and a minimum landing size is defined. Biological reference points are set.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

No formal scientific advice for a catch limit is known to exist for the grouper fishery but a reduction of the fishing effort (20% in 5 years) was recommended. For Yucatan area it was recommended about 320 boats for the mid-sized fleet, undertaken 6 trips along the year, with a duration of 15 days each (SAGARPA, 2012). However, more than 491 boats are licensed to operate, with 378 reported as actively targeting red grouper in 2014 (SAGARPA, 2014).

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

There is no data about fishers’ compliance. Reported signs of Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in protected areas (Scott, 2014). The National Fisheries Chart (2012) mentions that 10,700 small scale vessels participate in the fishery while the number of licenses cover a smaller number of vessels (SAGARPA, 2012). It is lkely that more boats are targeting the fishery than the advocated 320 vessel limit, however VMS requirements are likely preventing further fleet expansion, and hook and line limits have caused the average catch size to rise (SAGARPA, 2014). However, 40% of artesanal fleet landings were below MLS (SAGARPA, 2014).

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 5.1.

This measures the TB as a percentage of the Blim.

The TB is 44.6 ('000 t). The Blim is 52.4 ('000 t) .

The underlying TB/Blim for this index is 85.0%.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

The stock is over-exploited and the fishery is “in deterioration” and recommendations are the reduction of the fishing effort to 1980s levels and fishing mortality of 20% over five years (SAGARPA, 2012). A variety of management measures have been proposed and/or enacted, but have not yet demonstrated their effectiveness.

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE RISK

High Medium Low

This indicates the potential risk of human rights abuses within this fishery.

No data available for recruitment
Data notes
  •  Red grouper is the main species of a multispecies fishery. A single stock is considered in the Gulf of Mexico and NW Atlantic, not ruling out the possibility of several reproductively distinct stocks (Richardson and Gold 1997)(Zatcoff et al. 2004). Two stock assessments are conducted, by US and Mexican entities, whose stocks are minimally connected (SEDAR and Southeast Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) 2015).
Southern Gulf of Mexico

Last updated on 27 March 2018

  • Biomass estimates (1980-2012) and the limit reference point Blim are from the last stock assessment performed, considering the scenario of Natural Mortality of 0.24 (Monroy et al. 2010). Other assessments data are presented in the Management Plan.
  • In lack of catch limits and fishing strategy, scores #1, #2 and #3 were determined qualitatively according to available information.
  • Fishing reference points are not available preventing the calculation of score #5 which was determined qualitatively.
  • Biomass, catch, and F values have not been updated in the latest report (SAGARPA-CONAPESCA 2016), rendering the 2014 report (Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) 2014), with 2011 data, the most recent.
  • Recent catch data (2011 to 2017) are from Producción pesquera por especie

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. López-Rocha, J.A., Arreguín-Sánchez, F., 2013.Spatial dynamics of the red grouper Epinephelus morio (Pisces: Serranidae) on the Campeche Bank, Gulf of Mexico. Scientia Marina 77(2): 313-322, doi: 10.3989/scimar.03565.13Bhttp://scientiamarina.revistas.csic.es/index.php/scientiamarina/article/view/1453/1568
  2. SAGARPA, 2014. Acuerdo por el que se da a conocer el Plan de Manejo Pesquero de Mero (Epinephelus morio) y especies asociadas en la Península de Yucatán. Diario oficial 25 Noviembre 2014.http://www.inapesca.gob.mx/portal/documentos/Planes-de-Manejo-Pesquero/Golfo/2014_11_25_MAT_sagarpa-PLAN-DE-MERO.pdf
  3. SAGARPA, 2015. Establece SAGARPA zonas de refugio para la protección de 22 especies en Quintana Roo. Press release 13 de Abril de 2015.http://www.inapesca.gob.mx/portal/sala-de-prensa/boletines/467-establece-sagarpa-zonas-de-refugio-para-la-proteccion-de-22-especies-en-quintana-roo
  4. Scott, I., 2014. Pre-Assessment Report for The Campeche Grouper Fishery Final. Intertek Fisheries Certification Ltd, June 2014. 62pp http://cedepesca.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/grouper-msc.pdf
  5. Rosas, R. B., Pérez, M. P., Aguilar, R. W. M., Cervera, K. C., González, J. C. M., Pech, E. F. C., Méndez, J. C. E., González, S. M. Evaluación de mero y especies afines del Golfo de México 2010 - Informe final, Evaluación de mero y especies afines del Golfo de México 2010. Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo rural, Pesca y Alimentación. Instituto Nacional de Pesca, Centro Regional de Investigación Pesquera de Yucalpeten, 25ppred_grouper_2010.pdf
  6. GMFMC. 2008a. Reef Fish Amendment 29: Effort Management in the Commercial Grouper and Tilefish Fisheries. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 484 pp with appendices. http://www.gulfcouncil.org/Beta/GMFMCWeb/downloads/Final%20Reef%20Fish%20Amdt%2029-Dec%2008.pdf
  7. GMFMC, 2008b. Final Reef Fish Amendment 30b: Gag – End Overfishing And Set Management Thresholds and Targets; Red Grouper – Set Optimum Yield Tac and Management Measures, Time/Area Closures; and Federal Regulatory Compliance. October 2008. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 462 pp. http://www.gulfcouncil.org/Beta/GMFMCWeb/downloads/Final%20Amendment%2030B%2010_10_08.pdf
  8. GMFMC. 2009. Final Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources in the Gulf of Mexico. June 2009. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 267 pp. http://gulfcouncil.org/Beta/GMFMCWeb/downloads/Final%20Draft%20RF%20Amend%2031%206-11-09.pdf
  9. GMFMC. 2010. Regulatory amendment to the reef fish fishery management plan to set 2011 total allowable catch for red grouper and establish marking requirements for buoy gear. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 125 p. http://gulfcouncil.org/docs/amendments/2010%20Red%20Grouper%20Regulatory%20Amendment%209-17-10%20final%20with%20signed%20FONSI.pdf
  10. GMFMC. 2011a. Final Regulatory Amendment to set 2011-2015 Total Allowable Catch and Adjust Bag Limit for Red Grouper. August 2011. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 54 pp. http://gulfcouncil.org/docs/amendments/Final%20Regulatory%20Amendment%20-%20Red%20Grouper%20TAC%20&%20Bag%20Limit%202011-8-30.pdf
  11. GMFMC, 2011b. Final Reef Fish Amendment 32: Gag Grouper– Rebuilding Plan, Annual Catch Limits, Management Measures; Red Grouper– Annual Catch Limits, Management Measures Grouper Accountability Measures. October 2011. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 406 pp. http://www.gulfcouncil.org/docs/amendments/Final%20RF32_EIS_October_21_2011%5B2%5D.pdf
  12. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 2011. U.S. National Bycatch Report [W. A. Karp, L. L. Desfosse, S. G. Brooke, Editors ]. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-F/SPO-117E, 508 p. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/by_catch/BREP2011/2011_National_Bycatch_Report.pdf
  13. NMFS, 2012. FISHWATCH- US Seafood facts: red grouper. NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). [accessed on 31 May 2012]. http://www.fishwatch.gov/seafood_profiles/species/grouper/species_pages/red_grouper.htm
  14. NMFS. 2012. Gulf of Mexico Reef fish proposed quotas. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/ifq/Proposed_Quotas_20121126161930.pdf
  15. Poffenberger, J. 2004. A report on the discard data from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center’s Coastal Fisheries Logbook Program. National Marine Fisheries Service, SEFSC, Miami, FL. http://ocean.floridamarine.org/efh_coral/pdfs/FMPs/discardreport01_03.pdf
  16. Richardson, L.R. & J.. Gold, 1997. Mitochondrial DNA diversity in and population structure of red grouper, Epinephelus morio, from the Gulf of Mexico. Fishery Bulletin 95: 174-179.http://fishbull.noaa.gov/951/richardson.pdf
  17. SEDAR 12. 2006. Stock Assessment Report. Gulf of Mexico Red Grouper. SEDAR 12. Stock Assessment Report 1. SEDAR. Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review. Charleston, SC. 2006 http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/download/S12SAR1%20Gulf%20Red%20Grouper%20Completev2.pdf?id=DOCUMENT
  18. SEDAR 19, 2010. South Atlantic Red Grouper Stock Assessment Report. Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review. http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/download/Red_grouper_SAR_FINAL.pdf?id=DOCUMENT
  19. SEDAR, 2009. Stock Assessment of Red Grouper in the Gulf of Mexico. SEDAR Update Assessment, 143 p. http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/download/Red_Grouper_2009_Assessment_Update_Report.pdf?id=DOCUMENT
  20. SERO, 2011a. 2010 Commercial Quotas/Catch Allowances in gutted pounds. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office (SERO). 3 January 2012. 11 March 2011. http://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/ifqgt/documents/pdf/CommercialQuotasCatchAllowanceTable_2010.pdf
  21. SERO, 2011b. Gulf of Mexico 2010 Preliminary Recreational Landings (lbs) by Two-month Wave. last updated at 6 September 2011. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office (SERO).http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/pdfs/ACL_2010_rec_landings.pdf
  22. SERO, 2012a. 2011 Commercial Quotas/Catch Allowances in gutted pounds. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office (SERO). 3 January 2012. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/pdfs/CommercialQuotasCatchAllowanceTable_2011.pdf
  23. SERO, 2012b. Gulf of Mexico 2011 Recreational Landings (lbs) by Two-month Wave. last updated May 15, 2012. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office (SERO). http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/2011GulfRecLandingsandACLs.html
  24. Sinclair, M. and G. Valdimarsson (eds). 2003. Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, Italy. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=qwvNev8JiQwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA321&dq=bottom+longline+anchor+impacts+on+ecosystem+gulf+of+mexico&ots=oH0DjftOI0&sig=A06OoabNzCv525DrGgzn1hdP8DA#v=onepage&q&f=false
  25. Zatcoff, M.S., A.O. Ball & G.R. Sedberry, 2004. Population genetic analysis of red grouper, Epinephelus morio, and scamp, Mycteroperca phenax, from the southeastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Marine Biology 144: 769–777. http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/download/S19_RD05_ZatcoffEtAl_MarBio04.pdf?id=DOCUMENT
References

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