IUCN/SSC Grouper and Wrasse Specialist Group

  • Team:
  • Type: IUCN
  • Category:International Research Project
  • 2008 to 2022


The Mission of the Grouper and Wrasse Specialist Group is to promote the conservation, management and wise use of groupers and wrasses, and to enhance awareness of the vulnerability of this group of fishes, which includes the groupers (family Epinephelidae) and wrasses (family Labridae), and of the habitats upon which they depend.


1.To evaluate the status of all groupers and wrasses by 2007 (completed) and to re-valuate their global status by 2017 to ensure that assessments of conservation status are current. The completion of the 2017 assessment would enable a Red List Indicator to be determined to assess changes since the initial assessments.

2.To produce action plans and/or management strategies for the conservation and management of threatened groupers and wrasses, and to pay attention to data-deficient species such that assessments can be forthcoming.

3.To co-ordinate and collaborate with conservation NGOs, governments, inter-governmental organizations, academia, user groups and fishery authorities to provide expert advice in support of solutions that will downgrade species classified as 'threatened' and ensure sustainable use. This to include promotion of measures that ensure equitable resource use and fair trade practices along international trade chains.

4.To encourage implementation of appropriate species-level data collection systems for a better understanding of the status, trade and marketing of exploited species, and identify research gaps in these areas.

5.To promote a wider understanding, appreciation and awareness of the vulnerability to overexploitation of groupers and wrasses, both among stakeholders and the wider general public.

6.To develop and strengthen the Specialist Group membership to most effectively address stated objectives by enhancing group activities and by workshop training in red list assessments.

7.To integrate and align grouper and wrasse conservation and management into broader agendas of spatial protection (e.g. marine protected areas, spawning sites), conservation planning indicators (e.g. spawning aggregations as key biodiversity areas), and sustainable food certifications (e.g. WWF Seafood Choice Guide).

Funding Institution



Dr. Yvonne Sadovy de Mitcheson – Co-Chair, University of Hong Kong (China)
Dr. Matthew Craig – Co-Chair, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (USA)

Working group members:

Dr. Pedro Afonso – University of the Azores (Portugal)
Dr. Alfonso Aguilar – Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan (Mexico) 
Dr. Áthila Bertoncini – Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro | Instituto Meros do Brasil  (Brazil) 
Dr. David Bellwood – James Cook University (Australia) 
Dr. Monica Brick Peres – Ministry of Environment (Brazil) 
Dr. Thierry Brule - CINVESTAV-IPN Unidad Merida (Mexico) 
Dr. Annadel Salvio Cabanban – Consultant (Philippines) 
Mr. Li Shu Chen – National Museum of Marine Science and Technology (Taiwan) 
Mr. William Cheung – University of East Anglia (UK) 
Dr. Howard Choat – James Cook University (Australia) 
Dr. Pat Colin – Coral Reef Research Foundation (Palau) 
Dr. Andy Cornish – World Wide Fund for Nature (Hong Kong) 
Dr. Brad Erisman – Scripps Institution of Oceanography (USA) 
Dr. David Fairclough - Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research (Australia)
Dr. Sean Fennessay – Oceanographic Research Institute (South Africa) 
Dr. Sarah Frias-Torres - Ocean Research & Conservation Association (USA)
Ms. Graciela Garcia-Moliner – Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Puerto Rico) 
Dr. Edwin Grandcourt – Abu Dhabi Environment Agency (UAE) 
Dr. Phil Heemstra – South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (South Africa) 
Dr. Chris Koenig – Florida State University (USA) 
Dr. Michel Kulbicki – Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (France) 
Dr. Min Liu – University of Hong Kong (China) 
Mr. Rob Myers – Coral Graphics (USA) 
Dr. Beatrice Padovani-Ferreira – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (Brazil) 
Dr. Joao Pedro Barreiros – Universidade dos Azores (Portugal) 
Dr. Dave Pollard – Ichthyologist (Australia) 
Dr. Kevin Rhodes – University of Hawaii (USA)
Mr. Jan Robinson – Seychelles Fishing Authority (Seychelles)  
Dr. Luiz Rocha – University of Texas (USA) 
Dr. Barry Russell – Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (Australia) 
Dr. Melita Samoilys – CORDIO East Africa (Kenya) 
Prof. Kwang-Tsao Shao – Research Centre for Biodiversity (Taiwan) 
Dr. Mauricio Hostim-Silva – Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (Brazil)
Mr. Felipe Sosa-Cordero – Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Mexico) 
Mr. Sunti Suharti – Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Indonesia) 
Mr. Armin N Tuz Sulub – Ichthyological Laboratory, CINVESTAV-IPN (Mexico) 
Dr. Robert Warner – University of California, Santa Barbara (USA) 
Mr. Being Yeeting – Secretariat of the Pacific Community (New Caledonia)