Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Narrow-Barred Spanish Mackerel

Today I painted the Narrow-Barred Spanish Mackerel. Such a beautifully patterned and colored fish! I was sad to read that it is listed as “near threatened” due to overfishing (see information below.)

Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel
Latin Name: Scomberomorus commerson
Habitat: South-east Asia, as far west as the east coast of Africa; Middle East in northern Indian Ocean; Fiji
and South West Pacific Ocean; Australia from Perth to Sydney; China and Japan
Depth: 16-984 feet
99" and 154-165 pounds
According to the ICUN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species, “Several sub-regional stock assessment in the Western Indian Ocean report this species to be heavily overexploited, with some estimates of fishing mortality in the Arabian Gulf between two and four times over the optimum. In India, its current exploitation rate is estimated to be 60% over the optimum. In the Torres Strait, this species biomass has declined at least 40–50% since the 1980s, and has declined at least 40% in eastern Australia. In Queensland, management authorities determined this species to be overfished, and the fishery may be in danger of collapsing. Where data are available to conduct a quantitative stock assessment, results have shown at least a 30% decline in biomass or other indicators of population abundance over the past 25–40 years. However, there is little information on stocks of this species in East Africa, southeast Asia and in the northeastern portion of its range. Consequently, this species is listed as Near Threatened. 

I took the shot below before I started painting the mackerel.  This is my cat Wicked, who loves to sit on my lightbox when I am tracing images. It is nice and warm! She is shedding her winter coat right now, and I had to pick a lot of tiny white and black cat hairs out of the paint. She is keeping a close eye on the fish.