IUCN and ECOMERS
Since several years, ECOMERS collaborates with IUCN within several specialist groups. Several contributions to the Red List have been produced (see the complete list in the "Read more" section). In November 2018, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species published the new global assessments on Groupers. ECOMERS contributed to the status evaluation 6 of these species: the White Grouper (Epinephelus aeneus), the Dogtooth Grouper (E. caninus), the Goldblotch Grouper (E. costae), the Dusky Grouper (E. marginatus), the Haifa Grouper (Hyporthodus haifensis) and the Mottled Grouper (Mycteroperca rubra).
Two species are considered as Data Deficient, E. caninus, E. costae, two as Least Concern, H. haifensis, M. rubra, one as Near Threatened, E. aeneus, and one as Vulnerable, E. marginatus. The previous status of E. marginatus, the most important species within the Mediterranean basin, was Endangered. This change from EN to VU status does not prove that there are some improvements of the status of the dusky grouper. The population trend is clearly decreasing on its whole geographic distribution. However, the change in status from the previous assessment reflects an improved application of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, as well as a better understanding of available data. It means that further research is needed on its population status, especially in the southwestern Indian Ocean, the southwestern Atlantic and West Africa, and actions that reduce fishing effort are greatly needed. Similarly in the Mediterranean, more research efforts have to be deployed to assess the current fishing effort on this species.
It is also important to highlight that these 2018 status evaluations for the Grouper species are global, i.e. considering their whole geographical distribution. At a regional scale, the Mediterranean, the present status of the Dusky Grouper is still Endangered.