credits: Marcelo Vasconcellos

Since the listing of Humphead (Napoleon) Wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus, on CITES Appendix II in 2004, FAO has been actively involved in the development of approaches and guidelines for the assessment of and management of the species.

In collaboration with IUCN Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group, and funded by the Trust Fund Project “CITES and commercially exploited species”, a stock assessment approach was developed to assist range States in the evaluation of Non-detrimental findings for the species. The approach combines a population model and a method for estimating stock density based on underwater visual surveys, allows for the representation of “grow out” of net-caged animals (a significant part of the trade) and can compute sustainable catch and its associated uncertainty.

The Humphead wrasse assessment model can be downloaded here (Ms Excel required)

A method for mapping the suitable habitat for adult humphead wrasse using available satellite images was developed to refine existing estimates of habitat area for the species, one of the key parameters of the stock assessment approach. The method was used to estimate the habitat coverage of the species in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, three of the most important exporting countries of the species (PDF).

In addition, FAO is currently preparing technical guidelines for monitoring and management of live reef fish fisheries targeted to the species (PDF). The development of the guidelines was identified as a priority by range States during the Western Pacific Workshop on Policy, Enforcement and Sustainable Trade for the CITES Appendix II – listed Humphead (Napoleon) Wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus, held in Hong Kong, 5-7 June, 2006, and jointly organized by CITES, IUCN, TRAFFIC and WWF.

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