Red Roman

(Chrysoblephus laticeps)

Roman, Rooi roman

1. What is it?

Red Roman (Chrysoblephus laticeps) are highly residential, endemic, slow-growing, late-maturing fish making them vulnerable to fishing pressure. Historically overfished, there are signs of recovery. A stock assessment is required to confirm. Red Roman are listed as Near Threatened on the ICUN Red list for Threatened Species.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Red Roman are caught using traditional rod and reel or handlines. In general, linefishing is a selective fishing method with few impacts on the marine environment. When fishing for resident reef fish species, the linefishery is likely to impact overfished, vulnerable or ETP species. However, when fishing for highly mobile pelagic species the impact is generally lower. Catches of un-managed bycatch species are moderate making up around 12% of the total catch.

3. Where is it from?

Red Roman are found in near-shore reefs around South Africa mainly from Cape Point to Port St Johns. Management for the sector is considered partly effective. In South Africa, this sector is principally managed through a total allowable effort (TAE) limitation and species-specific minimum size limits (30 cm TL). Recreational fishers are further restricted by a bag limit (2 pp/pd). There is concern over the impact of the continuously growing recreational sector as well as uncertainties surrounding the allocation of small-scale fishing rights. Some steps have been taken to implement an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) management including the recent addition of 21 new Marine Protected Areas which are likely to provide additional protection to several linefish species.