CNMI Species Groups and Fisheries Categories

The species, families, and other groups used in the CNMI DFW 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) Sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus, Isurus paucus, various Carcharhinus spp.)
Mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus) Spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris)
Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri)

Bottomfish Management Unit Species (BMUS)

Alfonsin (Beryx decadactylus) Jobfish/Uku (Aprion virescens)
Amberjack (Seriola dumerili) Kalikali/Yellowtail (Pristipomoides auricilla)
Black jack (Caranx lugubris) Lyretail grouper (Variola louti)
Blacktip grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus) Onaga/Red snapper (Etelis coruscans)
Blue-lined snapper (Lutjanus kasmira) Opakapaka/Pink snapper (Pristipomoides filamentosus)
Ehu/Red snapper) (Etelis carbunculus) Redgill emperor (Lethrinus lentjan)
Giant trevally  (Caranx ignobilis) Silvermouth/Deep lehi (Aphareus rutilans)
Gindai/Flower snapper (Pristipomoides zonatus) Yelloweye opakapaka (Pristipomoides flavipinnis)


Blue marlin (Makaira mazara) Spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris)
Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus)


Kawakawa/Saba (Euthynnus affinis) Tunas (unspecified) 1
Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Other Scombrids

Dogtooth tuna (Gymnosarda unicolor) 1

Fisheries Categories

Pelagic Fishes

Barracudas  up to 5 species (Sphyraena spp.) Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus)
Blue marlin  (Makaira mazara) Sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus, Isurus paucus, various Carcharhinus spp.)
Dogtooth tuna  (Gymnosarda unicolor) Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)
Kawakawa/Saba (Euthynnus affinis) Spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris)
Mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus) Tunas/Unspecified 1
Pelagic fishes (unspecified) Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri)
Rainbow runner  (Elagatis bipinnulata) Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)


Alfonsin (Beryx decadactylus) Kalikali/Yellowtail (Pristipomoides auricilla)
Amberjack (Seriola dumerili) Longnose emperor (Lethrinus olivaceus)
Bigeye emperor (Monotaxis grandoculis) Lyretail grouper (Variola louti)
Bigeye trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus) Marbled grouper (Epinephelus polyphekadion)
Black jack (Caranx lugubris) Onaga/Red snapper (Etelis coruscans)
Blackspot emperor (Lethrinus harak) Onespot snapper (Lutjanus monostigma)
Blacktip grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus) Opakapaka/Pink snapper (Pristipomoides filamentosus)
Blue-lined gindai (Pristipomoides argyrogrammicus) Orangespotted trevally (Carangoides bajad)
Blue-lined snapper (Lutjanua kasmira) Orangefin emperor (Lethrinus erythracanthus)
Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus) Peacock grouper (Cephalopholis argus)
Bottomfishes (unspecified) 2 Pink grouper (Saloptia powelli)
Brassy trevally (Caranx papuensis) Red snapper  (various Etelinae)
Ehu/Red snapper (Etelis carbunculus) Redgill emperor (Lethrinus lentjan)
Eight banded grouper (Hyporthodus octofasciatus) Saddleback grouper/Giant coral trout (Plectropomus laevis)
Emperors (various Lethrindae) Sickle pomfret (Taractichthys steindachneri)
Flagtail grouper (Cephalopholis urodeta) Silvermouth/Deep lehi (Aphareus rutilans)
Flametail snapper (Lutjanus fulvus) 3 Smalltooth jobfish (Aphareus furca)
Giant trevally (Caranx ignobilis) Stout emperor (Gymnocranius sp.)
Gindai/Flower snapper (Pristipomoides zonatus) Tomato grouper (Cephalopholis sonnerati)
Groupers (various Serranidae) White lyretail grouper (Variola albimarginata)
Highfin grouper (Epinephelus maculatus) Yellow-banded grouper (Cephalopholis igarashiensis)
Honeycomb grouper (Epinephelus merra) Yellowspotted trevally (Carangoides fulvoguttatus)
Humpback snapper (Lutjanus gibbus) Yelloweye opakapaka (Pristipomoides flavipinnis)
Jacks (various Carangidae) Yellowlip emperor (Lethrinus xanthochilus)
Jobfish/Uku (Aprion virescens) Yellowstripe emperor (Lethrinus obsoletus

Reef Fishes

Bigeye/glasseye (Priacanthus spp. and Heteropriacanthus cruentatus) Reef fishes (multiple families, unspecified)
Blue-banded surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus) Shallow snappers (generally Lutjanus spp.)
Bluespine unicornfish (Naso unicornis) Soldierfishes (Myripristis spp., Ostichthys spp.)
Butterflyfishes (various Chaetodontidae) Squirrelfishes (Sargocentron spp., Neoniphon spp.)
Convict tang (Acanthurus triostegus) 4 Surgeonfishes (various Acanthuridae)
Dash & dot goatfish (Parupeneus barberinus) Sweetlips (various Haemulidae)
Fusiliers (Caesio spp., Pterocaesi spp.) Triggerfishes (various Balistidae)
Goatfishes (various Mullidae) Tripletail wrasse (Cheilinus trilobatus)
Highfin rudderfish brown (Kyphosus vaigiensis) Two-barred goatfish (Parupeneus bifasciatus)
Highfin rudderfish silver  (Kyphosus cinerascens) Unicornfishes (various Naso spp.)
Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) Wrasses (various Labridae)
Orangspine unicornfish  (Naso lituratus) Yellowfin surgeonfish (Acanthurus xanthopterus)
Parrotfishes (various Scaridae) Yellowstripe goatfish (Mulloidichthys flavolineatus)
Rabbitfishes (Siganus spp.)

Other Fishes, Algae & Invertebrates

Bigeye scad/Atulai (Selar crumenophthalmus) Octopus (most Octopus spp.)
Clams/bivalves (various Bivalvia) Sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea)
Coconut crab (Birgus latro) Shrimp (saltwater Caridea)
Crabs (various Brachyura) Slipper lobster (various Scyllarides, Scyllarus, and Parribacus spp.)
Invertebrates (various, unspecified) Spiny lobster (various Panulirus spp.)
Lemu/Seaweeds (various, unspecified) Squids (various Teuthoidea)
Milkfish (Chanos chanos) Trochus (Trochus spp.)
Mullet (various Mugilidae)

1 This group includes species that comprise a very small portion of the catch, unidentified tunas, and apparent misidentifications. Because of the small amount of catch, and the tendency of vendors to throw in the dogtooth tuna with this group (although it is not actually a tuna), this group is combined with “other scombrids” in some of the charts.
2 May include various deep bottom snappers (most Etelinae, some Lutjanus spp. listed above), groupers (Serranidae), emperors (Lethridae), deep jacks, and trevallies (Carangidae).
3 Mistakenly referred to as a flametail “emperor” (by vendors and in previous web pages), also known in the literature as blacktail snapper.
4 May include a small amount of the mimic convict surgeonfish Acanthurus chronixis.

Last updated October 29 2014