American Samoa Species Groups and Fisheries Categories

The species, families, and other groups used in the American Samoa DMWR tables and graphs are defined in this section. The species names are affected by differences in usage of local common names, and are currently being updated for consistency across regions. There have been changes in management groupings and in some cases the taxonomy has been reviewed or revised, affecting the appropriateness of former groupings. For example, the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, was amended in 1992 to include tunas in the Pelagic Management Unit Species (PMUS) category. And species such as the dogtooth tuna have been recognized as not being true tunas (members of the Tribe Thunnini), although the word “tuna” is part of the common name.

These species tables are being revised to associate scientific names with English and local common names, and taxonomic groups will be clarified in this context. This is part of an ongoing effort to overhaul WPacFIN taxonomic references, to improve consistency and ease of interpretation for all our Pacific island partners.

The common names and corresponding scientific names are provided on this page. For the time being, the original species categorizations are used in the tables and graphs for comparative purposes.

Pelagic Management Unit Species (PMUS)

Blue marlin (Makaira mazara) Swordfish (Xiphias gladius)
Mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus) Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri)
Striped marlin (Kajikia audax)

Bottomfish Management Unit Species (BMUS)

Black jack (Caranx lugubris) Longtail snapper/Onaga (Etelis coruscans)
Blue-lined snapper (Lutjanus kasmira) Pink snapper/Opakapaka (Pristipomoides filamentosus)
Flower snapper/Gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus) Silverjaw jobfish/Lehi (Aphareus rutilans)
Giant trevally (Caranx ignobilis) Redgill emperor (Lethrinus lentjan)
Goldflag jobfish (Pristipomoides auricilla) Ruby snapper/Ehu (Etelis carbunculus)
Gray jobfish (Aprion virescens) Yellow-edged lyretail (Variola louti)

Billfishes

Blue marlin (Makaira mazara) Swordfish (Xiphias gladius)
Striped marlin  (Kajikia audax)

Tunas

Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)
Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)
Kawakawa (Euthynnus affinis) 1 Other tunas 2

Other Scombrids

Dogtooth tuna (Gymnosarda unicolor) 2

Fisheries Categories

Pelagic Fishes

Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) Mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus, C. equiselis)
Barracudas, up to 5 species (Sphyraena spp.) Rainbow runner (Elagatis bipinnulata)
Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)
Blue marlin (Makaira mazara) Striped marlin (Kajikia audax)
Dogtooth tuna (Gymnosarda unicolor) Swordfish (Xiphias gladius)
Kawakawa (Euthynnus affinis) Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri)
Mackerel (Rastrelliger brachysoma) Yellowfin tuna  (Thunnus albacares)

Bottomfishes

Bigeye bream (Monotaxis grandoculis) Jacks (unspecified, generally larger Carangidae) 3
Bigeye scad (Selar crumenopthalmus) Longnose emperor (Lethrinus elongatus)
Black jack (Caranx lugubris) Longtail snapper/Onaga (Etelis coruscans)
Blue-lined snapper (Lutjanus kasmira) Mackerel scad/'Opelu (Decapterus macarellus)
Bottomfishes (unspecified) 4 Onespot snapper (Lutjanus monostigma)
Brown jobfish (Aphareus furca) Peacock grouper (Cephalopholis argus)
Deep-water snappers(unspecified) 5 Pink snapper/Opakapaka (Pristipomoides filamentosus)
Emperors (unspecified, family Lethridae) Redgill emperor (Lethrinus lentjan)
Flagtail grouper (Cephalopholis urodeta) Ruby snapper/Ehu (Etelis carbunculus)
Flower snapper/Gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus) Silverjaw jobfish/Lehi (Aphareus rutilans)
Giant trevally (Caranx ignobilis) Trevallies (unspecified, smaller Carangida) 4
Goldflag jobfish (Pristipomoides auricilla) White-edged lyretail (Variola albimarginata)
Gray jobfish (Aprion virescens) Whitemouth trevally (Uraspis secunda)
Greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) Yellow margined snapper (Lutjanus fulvus)
Groupers (unspecified, family Serranidae) Yellow-edged lyretail (Variola louti)
Humpback snapper (Lutjanus gibbus)

Reef Fishes

Barred flagtail (Kuhlia mugil) Rudderfishes (Kyphosus spp.)
Bloch’s Bigeye (Priacanthus blochii) Squirrelfishes (multi-species Neoniphon, Sargocentron) 6
Goatfishes (family Mullidae) Surgeonfishes/Tangs (family Acanthuridae)
Inshore groupers (family Serranidae) Terapon perch (Terapon jarbua)
Mullets (family Mugilidae) Triggerfishes (family Balistidae)
Parrotfishes (family Scaridae) Unicornfishes (multi-species Naso spp.)
Rabbitfishes (family Siganidae) Wrasses (family Labridae)
Reef fishes (unspecified)

Other Fishes, Algae & Invertebrates

Conger eels (all species identified to date included Conger spp.) Needlefishes (Strongylura incisa, Platybelone argalus, other Belonidae)
Crabs (multiple families, Brachyura) Octopus (Octopus cyanea, Octopus ornatus)
Eels (most are Gymnothorax spp.) Pufferfishes (family Tetraodontidae)
Filefishes (family Monacanthidae) Spiny lobster (mainly Panulirus penicillatus)
Gold banded fusilier (Caesio caerulaurea)


1 Because of the low volume of catch, this tuna is included with “other scombrids” in some of the charts.
2 This group includes species that comprise a very small portion of the catch, unidentified tunas, and apparent misidentifications (e.g. Bluefin tuna have never been credibly identified in American Samoa, but are occasionally reported by fishermen. These are thought to have been large bigeye tuna.
3 The categories “Jacks” and “Trevallies” both apply to carangid species, but the names are used somewhat interchangeably, depending upon the fish size. In American Samoa, the fish most commonly called “jacks” are of the genera Caranxem or Seriola. Most of the species called “trevallies” are of the genus Carangoides or Uraspis, but some of these are also referred to at times as “jacks.” Generally, the larger the fish, the more likely it is to be referred to as a jack, and the smaller fish the more likely it will be called a “trevally.” These categories are used in this report only when the fish were not identified to species. Please note that there may be some overlap.
4 This group includes multiple genera and species of snappers, groupers, and carangids, often grouped together in reporting by markets because they come from a single fishery.
5 This group includes any of the snappers caught by the deep bottom fishing method. They are the various species of the genera Aphareus, Aprion, Etelis, and Pristipomoides, listed separately, and also the species Lutjanus kasmira.
6 This group has mistakenly included some Priacanthus in the past. Identifications have improved significantly in recent years.

Last updated October 29 2014