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Profile updated on 19 July 2021
Groupers, seabasses nei, (multispecies)
This profile covers the groupers (lapu-lapu) fisheries in the Philippine Fishery Management Area 4 (FMA -4), encompassing the waters of Eastern Sulu Sea (southern part of Region 6 - Western Visayas and Region 7 -Central Visayas), the Moro Gulf ( in Region 9: Zamboanga Peninsula), and the Southern Sulu Sea (surrounding the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM). FMAs were established in January 2019 (Fisheries Administrative Order or FAO 263 - 2019) to focus on an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.
This is a multi-species profile of the Family Epinephelidae. About 110 species are native to the Philippines but no information is available on the main species caught in fisheries. Groupers are reef-associated species and several species are the main exports in the Live Reef Food Fish Trade (LRFFT). At least 19 species in 6 genera (i.e., Aetheloperca, Anyperodon, Cephalopholis, Epinephelus, Plectropomus, Variola) are reported as caught from the wild for the LRFFT and 3 species are a mix of wild-caught fish and hatchery production. The top four main species in the LRFFT are: leopard coral trout (P. leopardus), squaretailed coralgrouper (P. areolatus), spotted coral trout (P. maculatus), and camouflage or flowery grouper (E. polyphekadion) (Saadovy de Mitcheson 2019).
In the Philippines, the official catch landing production estimates are reported as a collective for all species under the common name "grouper" and the local name "lapu-lapu" (see Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA; OpenSTAT). In FMA - 4, additional local names include "suno" or "tapog", "bantol", "kugtong", "pugapo", among others (see FishBase).