Natal stumpnose

IDENTIFYING FEATURES

This deep-bodied species has a rounded dorsal profile. The golden centre of each scale often gives the impression of longitudinal lines along the flanks.

Scientific name: Rhabdosargus sarba
Common names: Natal stumpnose, yellowfin bream, silver bream
Family: Sparidae 
Size: Can grow to 70cm and weigh 7.3kg

DISTRIBUTION

This fish is widespread throughout the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific region, and in South Africa occurs along the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Coast, occasionally extending as far as Knysna.

HABITAT

This inshore species is found in sandy areas and over shallow, rocky reefs. Juveniles use estuaries as nursery areas.

DIET

Common food includes rock and sand mussels, clams, crabs and small rock lobsters.

REPRODUCTION

Spawning takes place during winter off large estuary mouths.

Length at maturity: 26cm total length
Age at maturity: 2 years
Reproductive style:  Protandrous hermaphrodite (change sex from male to female)
Age at sex change: 3 years

CAPTURE

This is a popular shore-angling species.

REGULATIONS

Daily bag limit:  5  
Minimum size limit: 25cm
Closed season:  none 
Other regulations:  no sale
SASSI:   red list

CONSERVATION

Although the stock does not appear to be overfished, degradation of estuaries, their nursery areas may have contributed to their decline. Protection of suitable estuarine habitat is essential for the future.

UNEVALUATED

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