The average length of the humphead wrasse is 24 inches, though they can grow up to 90 inches. The humphead wrasse is highly vulnerable to overfishing because it’s a valued luxury food as a part of the live reef fish trade predominant across Southeast Asia. To catch them alive for the LRFFT, cyanide is frequently used in some areas for it is not an easy fish to catch. Countries that even lightly fish the Humphead Wrasse in surrounding waters have reported 10 times fewer … Other common names include balaki (Ilokano), bankilan (Tag… They also crush large chunks of dead coral rubble with peg-like teeth to feed on the burrowing mussels and worms. Indeed, as far as we can tell, it is becoming increasingly uncommon. Aitutaki island has been identified as a KBA. Now protected in many countries, most legal trade in the species is out of Indonesia and into Hong Kong where some fish are consumed and many transshipped to Mainland China. This species is rare in the wild and is extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation because of its slow breeding rate and predictable spawning sites. Why is the humphead wrasse endangered and what is being done to protect it ? Indeed, most smaller, juvenile, fish are almost exclusively taken with cyanide. Illegal capture of undersize, juvenile fish often occurs, often using cyanide as the fishing method because the species is otherwise difficult to capture. The humphead is a naturally rare species because the species takes a long time to reach maturity (five to seven years, to be exact), delaying the ammount of time the fish have to spawn. This leads us to the second main reason that the species is almost extinct: trade. It is one of the two most highly priced fishes in this international trade. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. There are rarely more than 10 wrasses at one reef. Traders of live fish sometimes supply fishers with cyanide. It has large scales that can reach up to 10 cm in diameter. There are two main reasons that the humphead is going extinct: population and trade. Due to their thick lips and strong teeth, they have the unique ability to eat toxic species such as sea hares, boxfish, and crown-of-thorns starfish. The humphead wrasse feeds on the variety the reef has to offer. More recently (1990s onwards) it has come to form an important part of the live reef food fish trade (LRFFT) centred in Southeast Asia, at times commanding over US$500 per kg at retail (e.g. Larger fish may sometimes be taken at night from their resting places where they are easy targets for SCUBA divers. And what a beautiful thing that is. 2003). Females rarely grow larger than one meter in length. They can be seen feasting on shellfish, other fish, sea stars, sea urchins and crabs, crushing the shells to get at the animal within. Adult individuals are green with a protuberance on their forehead that reminds one of a hump. Its maximum size is 2 … It has a distinctly shaped hump on its head and a pale, complex colour pattern. It is susceptible to over-exploitation due to its life history, that involves late sexual maturation (sometimes up to 5 years and 35-50 cm total length), long life (over 30 years) and sex reversal from female to male. My Humps; Endangered, but why? Only a few of these countries and territories have effective management measures in place to regulate the trade of the humphead. Thus, trade in this species is almost exclusively one of small large juveniles, a pattern that will doubtless exacerbate the threatened status of this species because its populations are poorly managed. Both the shape of their bodies and their coloring change over the course of their lives. www.savethehumpheadwrasse101.net. Though the creature, that lives up to thirty years, has about twenty-six more years to breed, give or take, their spawning sights are highly predictable. Females are whitish and have a smaller hump, and young fish have black lines behind their eyes. [Decreasing Numbers] "The humphead wrasse is extremely popular as an aquarium fish and also in demand from shops and restaurants. The population saw a more rapid decrease when commercial fisheries began to get involved. The humphead wrasse is the largest living member of the family Labridae. Crown of thorns starfish that invade the whole coral reefs and eat them bare within a short time are being decimated by the wrasse. As an adult, it is much larger than the other inhabitants of the reef. It appears to be highly vulnerable to overfishing, especially where an export trade has developed, or where night-fishing occurs using SCUBA gear (dive tanks). … He breaks whole corals to find potential prey: snails, shells and sea urchins. Despite its widespread distribution, adults of the species are nowhere particularly common, except in a few very well and long-protected areas. The forty-eight countries that are surrounded by the waters that inhabit the humpheads don't really do a good job with protecting this endangered species. The genomes of the humphead wrasse must be evaluated so as to try to determine a way to help keep the species alive. However, the cyanide can kill corals on repeated use and also causes much bycatch death among those animals exposed to the poison but not removed. A humphead wrasse lying on its side at a cleaning station. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. Scientific name: Cheilinus undulatus DESCRIPTION: The humphead wrasse is a large fish with a highly developed head, a large mouth and thick, fleshy lips. Most Humphead wrasse in this international trade are less than 50 cm total length, and most are juveniles. Fishery-dependent and trade-related data suggest a 10-fold or greater decline over the last 10 to 15 years in heavily exploited areas such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. "Weighing up to 200kg, this is the largest of all wrasse. This species was the first reef fish used as food to be listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered species (CITES). The Humphead wrasse is a fish that lives in coral reefs. The humphead's endangerment is due only to nature and the disregard of said element by humans. Humphead wrasse. However, it will remain on our Species of Concern list and we will encourage research on the status of the species for use in future status reviews. This enormous, colorful coral-reef dweller is slow to reproduce, making it vulnerable to overfishing. But they are overfished because of thei… The status of this species as a luxury food means that its market value is likely to increase as it becomes less readily available from the wild due to overfishing, thereby encouraging continued exploitation even as populations decline. Bigger reef fish such as sharks eat the humphead wrasse. Recreational anglers may catch Humphead Wrasse incidentally or for sport, but it's illegal to keep them in many countries due to their status as an endangered species. The main threat to the humphead wrasse is over-fishing. ! There are two main reasons that the humphead is going extinct: population and trade. Humphead Wrasse are endangered due to live reef food fish trade, also habitat loss and degradation last over fishing. HUMPHEAD WRASSE ENDANGERED!!! Resources: WWF: Humphead Wrasse The Humphead wrasse: one of the world’s most endangered coral reef fish, and a delicacy for affluent Chinese diners The scarcity of the fish and its price tag of up to US$850 per kilo has only … What WWF Is Doing © Darren Jew / WWF-Canon In Malaysia, WWF helped to stop the export of this important fish. Who Cares Anyway? Napoleon fish are carnivorous and eat during the day. The humphead's endangerment is due only to nature and the disregard of said element by humans. It’s considered a luxury food, … Due to documented declines, the Humphead wrasse was listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 1996 and later upgraded to endangered (2004). Donate!!!! The humphead wrasse is rated ‘ endangered ’ by the IUCN. This species has no high population density by nature. Due to documented declines, the Humphead wrasse was listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 1996 and later upgraded to endangered (2004). Traditionally, the wrasse was fished by hook and line, hand spear (more recently by speargun using SCUBA, or diving tanks) or by trap, depending on fish size. In 1996, the humphead wrasse was listed as a vulnerable species in the IUCN Red List because in the last decade, humphead wrasse populations were declining rapidly. Average Length: 6 feet. Weighing up to 400 pounds with distinctive markings behind its eyes, the humphead wrasse is an endangered reef fish. ©2020 IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). What Humphead Wrasse eat is one of the reasons they are so important to our planet. The Humphead, Maori or Napoleon (to mention but a few of its many names) wrasse,Cheilinus undulatus, is the largest member of the family Labridae and widely distributed across the reefs of the Indo-Pacific. Save The Humphead Wrasse. Considered in some areas to be a 'stately' or 'royal' fish, it is, or once was, highly valued in many cultures and used only for special occasions or exclusively available to highly ranked members of Society. Their habitat is in the east coast of Africa an the red sea, which is by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, they are a cool animal and you need to save them. The use of this poison as a fishing method is widely despised for it is known to kill living coral, itself an important habitat for this, as well as other, reef fish and invertebrate species. Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing and trading of the humphead happens quite frequently. What is the Humphead Wrasses Habitat ? The gentle humphead Wrasse is most often taken during the night by scuba divers with spear guns or poisoning, but is also taken by nets from boats. Get Involved! It was listed because it was considered to be actually or potentially threatened by prevailing exploitation levels or disturbances if these persist without any controls. Today, the meat of this fish is sold in restaurants for a very high price. CoP13 approved the listing of ramin, agarwood, the great white shark and the humphead wrasse in Appendix II, as well as the uplisting of the Irrawaddy dolphin from Appendix II to I. The humphead is a naturally rare species because the species takes a long time … why is it endangered ? The status of this species as a luxury food means that its market value is likely to increase as it becomes less readily available from the wild due to overfishing, thereby encouraging continued exploitation even as populations decline. in Beijing in 2015 at a luxury hotel). It is now clear, based on the results of studies, surveys, and many different anecdotal accounts, that the Humphead wrasse cannot withstand anything other than light levels of fishing pressure. Once eaten only by royalty, humphead wrasse are today highly sought after in the luxury food industry of east Asia. Which can be invasive species, that with overpopulation will actually destroy coral reefs. Status: Endangered. English language common names are humphead wrasse, blue-tooth groper, double-headed maori wrasse, double-headed parrot-fish, giant humphead wrasse, giant maori wrasse, giant wrasse, humhead wrasse, hump-headed wrasse, humphead, humphead maori wrasse, humphead wrasse, Maori wrasse, Napoleon maori-wrasse, Napoleon wrasse, and Napoleonfish. Humphead wrasse spawn in couples in open water then rise quickly to the surface to release the ova and the spermatozoa.Despite their large size, their are fairly timid, often darting into holes to hide.. The inadequacy of sufficiency in enforcement and shortcomings of national regulations cancel out conversation efforts of many countries that actually try to protect the humphead. Welcome to our website! The Humphead Wrasse is the perfect example for us to see how interconnected nature really is. The trade and consumption of this fish has caused it to become an endangered species. The species is much sought after, particularly as a live export for the restaurant industry. Humphead Wrasse is a very good eating fish, which explains why it has been commercially overfished. It is also considered to be ‘ conservation dependent ’, meaning that its survival is currently dependent on human intervention. They can eat toxic sea hares and starfish. The large and slow adult Wrasse is usually tired of human activities, and often easy to catch by spear fishers in its den. Considered a luxury food item in South East Asia, the humphead wrasse is vulnerable to overfishing. The fish exhibits protogynous hermaphroditism. Average Weight: over 400 pounds. Regarding the African elephant, Namibia saw its request for an annual ivory quota rejected, but was allowed to proceed with a strictly-controlled sale of traditional ivory carvings. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and included in CITES Appendix II in 2004. For example, though there is an export ban in the Maldives, the illegal export of humpheads still occurs in spite of the protection on the species. Historically the Humphead wrasse was prized for its flavour and texture. Such has been the concern for illegal trade in this species that a Decision by the CITES Secretariat was issued in 2010 to look more closely at the legality of its international trade. how can we help the humhead wrasse from being extinct ? The Humphead (Napoleon) wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus, was listed on Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) in October of 2004. Humphead Maori Wrasse is a highly prized food fish in some countries, and has been heavily exploited for the live reef fish trade through its core range in southeastern Asia (Sadovy et al. They can live up to 30 years! That is why 50% of the Humphead Wrasse print will be donated to the WWF who is working to stop the exporting of this fish to give them and the coral reefs a better shot. This very unique looking fish is the largest fish that inhabits coral reefs. Humphead wrasse are known to survive for at least 30 years. Credits; Endangerment of the Humphead. Go to the website of WWF and donate to them, symbolically adopt an animal to support the With sumptuous, fleshy lips and a bulbous, protruding forehead, the humphead wrasse is an unforgettable fish. The species is conservation dependent. What the Humphead Wrasse Eat and Foodchain ? The humphead wrasse is the largest species of wrasse. Accordingly, the humphead wrasse does not meet the definition of a threatened or endangered species and therefore the humphead wrasse does not warrant listing as threatened or endangered at this time. Males are typically larger than females and are capable of reaching lengths of up to 2 meters from tip to tail and weighing up to 180 kg, but the average length is generally a little less than 1 meter. Marine species that trigger Aitutaki’s KBA status are the endangered Humphead Wrasse Cheilinus undulatus) and Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas). Although cyanide is a poison and will quickly knock out any fish exposed to cyanide solution, if the target fish is rapidly removed to fresh water, it will survive. Hunting Habits/Diet. The problem with juvenile fisheries is that insufficient adults will remain in the future to replenish exploited populations (imagine removing all the children from our cities, where will the next generation come from?). Humphead Wrasse are the most expensive and prized fish in the live reef fish trade, which poses a huge threat to the population. The Humphead wrasse cannot yet be hatchery-reared at commercial levels, so all fish in trade are wild-caught. It normally lives independently around coral reefs, but many gather together during the breeding season." The population has seen a 50% loss just in the last 30 years. In Polynesia, humphead wrasse are victims of their own territoriality.If they are caught out in open water, they will always try to return to their homes on the ocean's slopes. The humphead wrasse is classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is currently listed as a U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service Species of Concern. They are able to consume hard shelled like crustaceans through their teeth. A fish that lives in coral reefs and eat them bare within a short time are decimated! 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