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Entries in Grouper (4)


Hamour exploited 6-7 times over sustainable level

The following article was published on the gulfnews.com website on August 1, 2014. It was written by Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter


Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi backs aquaculture to restore dwindling fish species

Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Local Hamour fish at the Fish market at Lulu Hypermarket at Khalidia Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi: Hamour (orange-spotted grouper), the most sought after fish species in the region, is also the most overexploited one. The rate at which Hamour are caught is estimated to be six to seven times in excess of sustainable levels, according to the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD).

Surveys conducted in 2002 showed that the grouper in general had been depleted to 13 per cent, compared to the abundance in which it was found in the region in 1978. Although a stock assessment for Cobia has not been undertaken yet, there are very limited landings of about 30 tonnes a year.

As the population of Abu Dhabi has increased over the years, fisheries expanded to try and meet the rising demand for fresh fish.

Well-managed restocking initiatives including introducing hatchery-produced fish fingerlings of overexploited local species back into the wild can help replenish overexploited fisheries resources.

Sustainable aquaculture technologies can also be used to preserve biodiversity by boosting the numbers of threatened and endangered species. In addition, some types of aquaculture, such as pearl aquaculture (or those involving filter feeding species), require sites at sea with good water quality. In effect, the existence of these farms at these locations ends up protecting these pristine areas and further enhancing the water quality in the area, an EAD spokesperson said.



Queensland to close Northern Fisheries Centre

This article appeared in the Cairns Post on Sunday 14th July

Caitlin Guilfoyle

© The Cairns Post

MORE than 10 jobs will be lost when the State Government closes all research programs at the Cairns Northern Fisheries Centre in September.

The research and development centre is the only supplier of protected Queensland grouper fingerlings in the region and also supplies a number of local aquafarm businesses with live feed.

Five research and technical staff and six temporary staff were told at the end of June they would no longer be required, with the Tropical Marine Finfish (Queensland grouper) program to finish on September 30 following the Tropical Rock Lobster program closure in March.

Little Mulgrave's Paradise Aquafarm owner Dave McIlvenie, who will be forced to source live feed essential for his business from New South Wales or Tasmania after the closure, said it felt like the Government had given up on them.

"It will push our costs up," he said. "It's like the Queensland Government has turned its back on agriculture in North Queensland. We feel left out in the cold, they have taken all our support away."

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the closure was part of last year's budget and businesses would be able to continue sourcing grouper if a new supplier emerged.

"As part of last year's State budget, a decision was made to close DAFF's Tropical Marine Fin Fish program and Tropical Rock Lobster programs conducted from the Northern Fisheries Centre in Cairns unless all costs could be transferred fully to a commercial entity," he said.

"The programs were ready for commercialisation, hence the department no longer deemed it necessary to continue the research. Those businesses that currently source grouper fingerlings through the Northern Fisheries Centre will be able to continue to do so if a new supplier emerges, or can source a number of other fish species that are more readily available in the marketplace."

The news comes just months after the facility received a $100,000 heating and electrical upgrade but Mr McVeigh said the department was in discussion with external businesses interested in using the facilities for their own aquaculture purposes.

Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch penned a letter to the minister on Monday saying he was "extremely concerned" about the closure because the centre was at the "forefront of Queensland grouper commercial development".

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the State Government had walked away from aquaculture in North Queensland and he was concerned about local business.




For Australia to have a viable economic future, innovative business opportunities need to be supported and explored.Apparently NOT if you support the LNP and Campbell Newman.And apparently Warren Entsch has no weight despite being a Liberal federal member. Fail - Campbell Newman. Fail - Warren Entsch. Fail - Liberals and LNP.LNP and Liberals - no ideas for the future.

Posted by: Andrew Lake of Trinity Beach 6:29pm Sunday

This will leave the tropics very thin on aquaculture and fisheries research.Research and development might seem too much like science for this mob and there could be all types of potential opportunities for the future lost. If only we had one member in the region to stand up against this resource stripping in our region. It is a bad look so soon after the LNP naked cash grab.

Posted by: Mike T of Cairns 9:05am Sunday

This is ridiculous as why would you do that with the GBR just out there, this center should be maintained if not expended, no matter what! this is irresponsibility from the government.



Twenty coral reef fishes threatened with extinction

In 2006 a panel of twenty experts from 10 countries convened at a conservation summit to assess the status of groupers worldwide.  Their conclusions included a dire warning that Twenty species of grouper, a globally important group of 162 coral reef food fishes, are threatened with extinction unless management or conservation measures are introduced.

The ground-breaking workshop at the Department of Ecology and Biodiversity of the University of Hong Kong was the first systematic assessment of the commercially important species, said Dr. Yvonne Sadovy, Chair of the IUCN Grouper and Wrasse Specialist Group and Associate Professor at HKU.

“The results are worrying and highlight the urgent need for fishery management, more effective marine protected areas (MPAs), and more sustainable eating habits for consumers of these fishes,” said Sadovy, who organized the workshop.

Groupers are the basis of the multi-million dollar live reef fish market of the sea food trade centred in Hong Kong, where consumers can pay up to US$100 per kg for this delicacy.  

Groupers are also the most valuable commercial fishes in the fresh fish markets of the tropics and sub-tropics.

The fishing grounds shifted rapidly in response to increasing demand in the 1990s. Reefs near Hong Kong, China were quickly depleted and sources of capture now extend well into both the Pacific and Indian oceans, broadly the Indo-Pacific region.

The major issues facing the trade are

  • overfishing and consequent depletion of resources that are in many cases used in other subsistence or commercial fisheries;
  • destruction of coral and mortality of nontarget fish when using cyanide solution in some places;
  • fishing the spawning aggregations of some target fish, causing depletion of reproductive fish;
  • the contribution of reef fish aquaculture, which is still largely dependent on grow-out of wild-caught fish, to depletion of the target fish stocks —and the extensive use of wild fish as fish feed;
  • the wastage of nontarget fish—many are killed during fishing operations but not eaten, while many fish that could be used as food in local communities are caught to feed LRFF during grow-out—and because of deaths of target fish before reaching the market;
  • social issues resulting mostly from conflicts and corruption regarding prices and access to fish, and from injuries and deaths from diving; and
  • the inclusion of threathened species in the trade.
More information on this issue can be found here:



We've passed 'Peak Fish'


The concept of Peak Fish is interesting, and of great concern.
"the world passed "peak fish" – a peak in the biomass, or weight, of fish caught from the world's oceans – in the late 1980s. Since then, while there have been regional variations, the global fish haul has gradually sunk."
Read more about Peak Fish here:
and here:
Click on this link: 
to see the image below animate and show the collapse of seafood supply