Choerodon cauteroma. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2
Fairclough, D. and Cornish, A. (2004) Choerodon cauteroma. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2.
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Choerodon cauteroma has been recorded to 43.3 cm in length (B. Hutchins, Western Australian Museum, pers. comm.). This species has high quality white flesh and is captured by commercial and recreational fishers in the north-western regions (Gascoyne and Pilbara/Kimberley) of Western Australia (W.A.). It is marketed in Perth, either as whole fish or fillets, and labeled as "baby groper" after its commercially sought-after congeneric, the Baldchin Groper Choerodon rubescens (D. Thorburn, Seafresh Fish Markets, pers. comm.).
Changes to fishing regulations for tuskfish in 2003 for the west coast and Gascoyne coast regions of Western Australia (W.A.) limit their capture to fish ≥ 40 cm in length (total length) and to a maximum of four fish per person per day (for recreational fishers). Since C. cauteroma rarely reaches more than 40 cm in length, these regulations essentially protect this species from capture in those two regions. Regulations for the Pilbara/Kimberley region of W.A. are currently under review and thus may change in 2004 to fall in line with the west and Gascoyne regions of W.A. In the Pilbara/Kimberley region there is currently no minimum legal length for C. cauteroma and the catch limit for recreational fishers is 8 fish per person per day.
Choerodon cauteroma should be considered Least Concern due to the minimum size limit for tuskfish species of 40 cm in Western Australia. This essentially protects this species from capture, since it rarely reaches this size, however, changes to regulations may occur in the future to reflect increased knowledge of the biology of this species (Fairclough in prep.). Since this species has a relatively limited range, it should be reassessed in the future for any changes in commercial or recreational catch composition, particularly if fishing regulations change or if an export market develops, that may ultimately have undesirable impacts on the population structure.
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