Snapper (Chrysophrys auratus): a review of life history and key vulnerabilities in New Zealand

Snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) is an important coastal fish species in New Zealand for a variety of reasons, but the large amount of research conducted on snapper has not been reviewed. Here, we review life history information and potential threats for snapper in New Zealand. We present information on snapper life history, defining stages (eggs and larvae, juvenile and adult), and assess potential threats and knowledge gaps. Overall we identify six key points: 1. post-settlement snapper are highly associated with certain estuarine habitats that are under threat from land-based stressors. This may serve as a bottleneck for snapper populations; 2. the largest knowledge gaps relate to the eggs and larvae. Additional knowledge may help to anticipate the effects of climate change, which will likely have the greatest influence on these early life stages; 3. ocean acidification, from land-based sources and from climate change, may be an important threat to larval snapper; 4. a greater understanding of population connectivity would improve certainty around the sustainability of fishery exploitation; 5. the collateral effects of fishing are likely to be relevant to fishery productivity, ecosystem integrity and enduser value; 6. our understanding of the interrelationships between snapper and other ecosystem components is still deficient.

Parsons D. M., Sim-Smith C. J., Cryer M., Francis M. P., Hartill B., Jones E. G., Le Port A., Lowe M., McKenzie J., Morrison M., Paul L. J., Radford C., Ross P. M., Spong K. T., Trnski T., Usmar N., Walsh N. & Zeldisk J., in press. Snapper (Chrysophrys auratus): a review of life history and key vulnerabilities in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. Article (restricted access).

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