Choerodon schoenleinii. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2
Fairclough, D. and Nakazono, A. (2004) Choerodon schoenleinii. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2.
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Choerodon schoenleinii is a highly sought after food fish throughout its distribution. It is high on the list of regularly caught species by recreational fishers at surveyed locations in Western Australia and is a prized species in many areas of south-east Asia, including Sabah, Japan and Hong Kong. There has been a severe decline in its abundance in Hong Kong since the 1940s and it is now considered rare in that location (A. Cornish, pers. comm.; Cornish 2003). Choerodon schoenleinii is a large species, reaching up to 100 cm, and it is a monandric protogynous hermaphrodite, with very low numbers of males recorded in Shark Bay, Western Australia (Ebisawa et al. 1995, Fairclough in prep.). Those two studies demonstrated that male fish occur only in the largest size classes, i.e., > ca. 50 cm, and these are commonly the target of fishers, e.g., in Hong Kong (Cornish 2003). Heavy fishing pressure for local and live reef fish trade use would have rapidly reduced the numbers of males in assemblages of this species and would have undoubtedly contributed to its rapid decline in locations such as Hong Kong. It is also considered to be overexploited in Japan (Ebisawa et al. 1995).
Thus, heavy fishing pressure coupled with the large scale use of destructive fishing practices in south-east Asia and overall low abundances in that region (Werner and Allen 2000, Allen and McKenna 2001) put this species at risk in a substantial proportion of its range. Choerodon schoenleinii should be considered to be Near Threatened and it almost meets the criteria for Vulnerable: VU A2cd and/or VU A3cd and/or VU A4cd. This species should be monitored regularly for further evidence of population decline/ or fragmentation and every effort made to obtain information on its fishery, especially in southeastern Asia and Japan.
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