NMFS Proposes to List Banggai Cardinalfish under Endangered Species Act

A Banggai Cardinalfish in the Banggai Islands | Source: Ret Talbot

A Banggai Cardinalfish in the Banggai Islands | Source: Ret Talbot

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has completed its 12-month finding for seven marine species, and tomorrow will publish a proposed rule to list six of them (including the Banggai cardinalfish) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “We have determined that, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect the species, Pterapogon kauderni, and Centrophorus harrissoni meet the definition of a threatened species,” NMFS states in a document that will publish in the Federal Register on 16 December. The other four species proposed to be listed–Aipysurus fuscus, Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana–are proposed to be listed as endangered species. The seventh species covered in this 12-month finding (a distinct population segment of Sousa chinensis) is not proposed for listing. NMFS is not proposing to designate any critical habitat at this time because the six species are not found in any waters within U.S. jurisdiction. NMFS will seek comments on the proposal for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. Stay tuned to the Good Catch Blog for more information and an in-depth article tomorrow in CORAL Magazine.

The Seven Species Covered in the 12-Month Finding

  • Sousa chinensis – Eastern Taiwan Strait population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin*
  • Aipysurus fuscus – dusky sea snake
  • Pterapogon kauderni – Banggai cardinalfish
  • Centrophorus harrissoni – Harrisson’s dogfish
  • Cantharellus noumeae
  • Siderastrea glynni
  • Tubastraea floreana

* NMFS concluded the Eastern Taiwan Strait population of Sousa chinensis is not a distinct population segment (DPS) and therefore does not qualify for listing under the ESA.

About Ret Talbot

Ret Talbot is a freelance writer who covers fisheries at the intersection of science and sustainability. His work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic, Mongabay, Discover Magazine, Ocean Geographic and Coral Magazine. He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife, scientific illustrator Karen Talbot.
This entry was posted in Endangered Species Act (ESA), Indo-Pacific, Ornamental Fisheries and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to NMFS Proposes to List Banggai Cardinalfish under Endangered Species Act

  1. Pingback: Just In: Bangaii Cardinalfish Proposed Amongst Four Others To Be Listed Under Endangered Species Act - reefs.com

  2. Steve Lowes says:

    Threatened status. This will be a milestone event for the aquarium hobby as in this case the data points to the popularity of the Banggai cardinalfish as a marine ornamental being the issue. Guess the aquarium blogosphere will be on fire tomorrow.

    • Ret Talbot says:

      I think you are right, Steve. As I published over at CORAL Magazine today, “If the Banggai cardinalfish is listed as threatened under the ESA, it will be the first aquarium species for which the trade bears significant responsibility. In its status review, NMFS found that both habitat destruction and overutilization for commercial purposes (e.g., the aquarium trade) are the major threats to the species. In the case of most of the other aquarium species listed (or being considered for listing) under the ESA, climate change is considered the primary threat, while extinction risk due to the aquarium trade is considered low.”

  3. Angel Fish says:

    Ecological prohibitionist have always made attacks on the aquarium hobby. Hopefully it goes no where like so many times before.

    • Ret Talbot says:

      Thanks for the comment, although I certainly would not call NMFS and “ecological prohibitionist.” While both the petitioning organization and NMFS cite the aquarium fishery as one of the major threats to the species, the proposed rule isn’t an attack on the aquarium hobby per se. It is a data-based decision on the necessary conservation measures to insure the species’ survival. Of all the marine species either listed or under consideration for ESA listing, this is the only one where the trade is identified as a major threat.

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