- A rare species of coral reef fish accidentally netted by fishermen off the coast of Vizhinjam early last month has been nursed back to health after undergoing a surgery at the aquarium under the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute
About Giant Humphead Wrasse:
- The Giant Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) weighing 25 kg is one of the largest specimens caught and kept live in India.
- The Humphead Wrasse is listed as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
- It is widely distributed on coral reefs and inshore habitats throughout much of the tropical Indo-Pacific, from western Indian Ocean and Red Sea to southern Japan, New Caledonia, and into the central Pacific Ocean.
It is a hermaphrodite
- A hermaphroditic species, changing sex from female to male, it can grow to a length of more than 2 metres and weigh up to 180 kg. Females are known to live around 50 years, while males have a shorter lifespan of about 45 years.
- It feeds on a variety of molluscs, fishes, sea urchins, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.
- Heavily exploited for the live fish trade, the Humphead Wrasse has been on the decline in most of its habitats in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
- The species cannot be artificially cultured to relieve fishing pressure.