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  • Sparus aurata (Photo: David Blaikie, Wikimedia Commons)
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Common name
snapper (English, New Zealand), gilthead (English), gilt head (English), gilt head bream (English), gilthead bream (English), gilt-head seabream (English), goudbrasem (Dutch), kultaotsa-ahven (Finnish), n'tad (Arabic), orada (Catalan), orada (Croatian), silver seabream (English), daurade royale (French, Mauritania), dorade (French), Dorade (German), dorade royale (French), Dorade Royal (German), Gemeine Goldbrasse (German), Goldbrasse (German), goldbrassen (German), Goldkopf (German), daurade (French), tsipoura (Greek), dorada (Spanish), dourada (Portuguese), cipura (Turkish), goud brasem (Dutch), komarca (Croatian), lovrata (Croatian), ovrata (Croatian), podlanica (Croatian), dinigla (Croatian), væbnerfisk (Danish), guldbrasen (Danish)
Synonym
Aurata aurata , (Linnaeus, 1758)
Chrysophrys aurata , (Linnaeus, 1758)
Chrysophrys aurathus , (Linnaeus, 1758)
Chrysophrys auratus , (Linnaeus, 1758)
Chrysophrys crassirostris , Valenciennes, 1830
Pagrus auratus , (Linnaeus, 1758)
Pagrus auratus , (non Forster, 1801)
Sparus auratus , Linnaeus, 1758
Similar species
Summary
Gilthead bream (Sparus aurata) is a fish of Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean origin. It is one of the most important fish in the aquaculture industry in the Mediterranean. However the rapid development of marine cage culture of this fish has raised concerns about the impact of escaped fish on the genetic diversity of natural populations.
Species Description
The gilthead bream is a Mediterranean fish reaching a maximum of 70 cm length and 6 kg in weight (Balart et al., 2009). It has 11 dorsal spines, 13-14 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 11-12 anal soft rays. The body is oblong in shape, with the snout measuring more than twice as long as the eye diameter (FishBase, 2010). The upper and lower jaws have six and four canines in front followed by rows of molariform teeth; it has four upper and eight lower gill rakers (Balart et al., 2009). Diagnostic colouration comprises of a large dark patch at the origin of the lateral line, overlapping the upper part of the opercle and underlined by a reddish area; golden curved bar across forehead, bordered by two dark zones; caudal black-edged distally (Balart et al., 2009).
Lifecycle Stages
Gilthead seabream begin gonadal development during September in preparation for winter spawning which starts around late December to early January in the eastern Mediterranean region. Spawning or gamete release occurs over a 3–4-month period, during which females can spawn 0.5–2 times their body weight in eggs (Zohar et al., 1995 in Kissil et al., 2001) through multiple spawnings. Reproduction by seabream causes a loss in body weight as large amounts of nutrients are required to produce the large volume of eggs. It takes several months for bodyweight to be replenished (Kissil et al., 2001). The maximum reported lifespan is 11 years (FishBase, 2010).
Uses
The gilthead seabream is one of the most important commercially cultured species in the Mediterranean with a yearly production of about 70,000 mt (Miggiano et al., 2005; Huidobro et al., 2001). It is widely eaten cooked and fresh. It is also caught as a gamefish (FishBase, 2010).
Habitat Description
Gilthead bream is a warm-temperate marine species that is found in seagrass beds and sandy bottoms as well as in the surf zone. They usually occur to depths of 30 m, but adults may occur to 150 m. They are a sedentary species, and are either solitary or occur in small aggregations. In spring, gilthead bream often occur in brackish water coastal lagoons and estuaries (FishBase, 2010). During the early stages of its life gilthead bream prefer brackish waters and warmer temperatures (Craig et al., 2008).
Reproduction
The gilthead bream is a protandrous hermaphrodite with about 5% hatching as female (Kissil et al., 2001).
Nutrition
Gilthead seabreams are voracious opportunistic predators, capable of adapting their diet to the food available in its environment (Balart et al., 2009 and references therein). However Pita et al found that their diet is more specialized towards gastropods and bivalves. They may also be accessorily herbivorous (FishBase, 2010).

Principal source:

Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review:

Publication date: 2011-02-23

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2017) Species profile: Sparus aurata. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1703 on 17-10-2017.

General Impacts
Commercial culture of gilthead bream has raised concerns in the Mediterranean about the impact of escaped fish on natural populations. Most Mediterranean fish hatcheries breed gilthead breams from Atlantic broodstocks due to their shape and growth performance. Escapees from commercial fish farms resulting from culture system failure, accidents or carelessness may affect genetic diversity of wild populations (Miggiano et al., 2005).

Gilthead bream is a voracious predator and its introduction may cause reductions in farmed species such as the Atlantic and Pacific salmon in the rivers and coasts of British Columbia and Chile, and Channel catfish and Asian black carp in the United States, and many tilapia species in north and south America (Balart et al., 2009).

Other impacts from the introduction of commercial cultures into coastal areas and bays include ecological problems such as eutrophication (Vergara Martín et al., 2005 in Balartet al., 2009) and the introduction of a broad range of bacterial, fungal and protozoan diseases and parasites (Balart et al., 2009; Ivona, 2006). Such impacts may disrupt local ecosystems (González et al., 2005).

Management Info
Escapees from commercial fish farms are a relatively common occurrence. It is important to identify these escapees and to evaluate their potential genetic impact on wild populations. Molecular genetic marks are the most suitable “tags” for identification as they are permanent, do not require fish handling and are traceable through further generations. Molecular tags using AFLPs and microsatellites were found to be reliable markers for identification of simulated escapees. They were so accurate as to even trace the particular farm and strain of origin. This method is likely to be an effective method to identify escapees in the field and become a tool in responsible aquaculture to monitor the amount of escapees surviving in the wild after accidental releases and the effects on genetic diversity of natural populations. Thus, extensive genetic tagging in gilthead bream broodstocks in the Mediterranean is recommended (Miggiano et al., 2005).
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Sparus aurata
NATIVE RANGE
  • albania
  • algeria
  • atlantic - eastern central
  • atlantic - northeast
  • bosnia and herzegovina
  • bulgaria
  • cape verde
  • croatia
  • denmark
  • france
  • galician shelf
  • gibraltar
  • greece
  • iberian coastal
  • ireland
  • israel
  • italy
  • lebanon
  • libyan arab jamahiriya
  • malta
  • mauritania
  • mediterranean & black sea
  • monaco
  • morocco
  • portugal
  • river tagus
  • romania
  • russian federation
  • senegal
  • serbia
  • slovenia
  • spain
  • syrian arab republic
  • tunisia
  • turkey
  • united kingdom
  • western sahara
Informations on Sparus aurata has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Sparus aurata in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Commercial culture of gilthead bream has raised concerns in the Mediterranean about the impact of escaped fish on natural populations. Most Mediterranean fish hatcheries breed gilthead breams from Atlantic broodstocks due to their shape and growth performance. Escapees from commercial fish farms resulting from culture system failure, accidents or carelessness may affect genetic diversity of wild populations (Miggiano et al., 2005).

Gilthead bream is a voracious predator and its introduction may cause reductions in farmed species such as the Atlantic and Pacific salmon in the rivers and coasts of British Columbia and Chile, and Channel catfish and Asian black carp in the United States, and many tilapia species in north and south America (Balart et al., 2009).

Other impacts from the introduction of commercial cultures into coastal areas and bays include ecological problems such as eutrophication (Vergara Martín et al., 2005 in Balartet al., 2009) and the introduction of a broad range of bacterial, fungal and protozoan diseases and parasites (Balart et al., 2009; Ivona, 2006). Such impacts may disrupt local ecosystems (González et al., 2005).

Red List assessed species 0:
Locations
Pacific - Eastern Central
Mechanism
[1] Predation
Outcomes
[1] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
Management information
Escapees from commercial fish farms are a relatively common occurrence. It is important to identify these escapees and to evaluate their potential genetic impact on wild populations. Molecular genetic marks are the most suitable “tags” for identification as they are permanent, do not require fish handling and are traceable through further generations. Molecular tags using AFLPs and microsatellites were found to be reliable markers for identification of simulated escapees. They were so accurate as to even trace the particular farm and strain of origin. This method is likely to be an effective method to identify escapees in the field and become a tool in responsible aquaculture to monitor the amount of escapees surviving in the wild after accidental releases and the effects on genetic diversity of natural populations. Thus, extensive genetic tagging in gilthead bream broodstocks in the Mediterranean is recommended (Miggiano et al., 2005).
Locations
Management Category
Bibliography
12 references found for Sparus aurata

Managment information
Miggiano, E., De Innocentiis, S., Ungaro, A., Sola, L. & Crosetti, D. 2002. AFLP and microsatellites as genetic tags to identify cultured gilthead seabream escapees: data from a simulated floating cage breaking event. Aquaculture International, 13(1-2): 137-146.
General information
Balart, E.F., P�rez-Urbiola, J.C., Campos-D�vila, L., Monteforte, M. & Ortega-Rubio, A. 2009. On the first record of a potentially harmful fish, Sparus aurata in the Gulf of California. Biological Invasions, 11: 547�550.
Craig, G., Paynter, D., Coscia, I. & Mariani, S. 2008. Settlement of gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata L. in a southern Irish Sea coastal habitat. Journal of Fish Biology, 72: 287-291.
Fahy, E., Green, P., Quigley, D.T.G. 2005. Juvenile Sparus aurata L. on the south coast of Ireland. Journal of Fish Biology, 66: 283-289.
FishBase, 2010. Sparus aurata Linnaeus, 1758
Summary: Available from: http://www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=1164 [Accessed 12 August 2010]
Golani, D. & Lerner, A. 2007. A long-term study of the sandy shore ichthyofauna in the Northern Red Sea (Gulf of Aqaba) with reference to adjacent mariculture activity. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (Suppl. 14): 255-264.
Huidobro, A., Mendes, R. & Nunes, M.L. 2001. Slaughtering of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) in liquid ice: influence on fish quality. European Food Research Technology, 213: 267-272.
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), 2010. Sparus aurata Linnaeus, 1758
Summary: Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt [Accessed 12 August 2010]
Ivona, M. 2006. Check list of the parasitofauna in Adriatic Sea cage-reared fish. Acta Veterinaria (Belgrade), 56(2-3): 285-292.
Kissil, G.Wm., Lupatsch, I., Elizur, A. & Zohar, Y. 2001. Long photoperiod delayed spawning and increased somatic growth in gilthead seabream Sparus aurata. Aquaculture, 200: 363-379.
Pita, C., Gamito, S. & Erzini, K. 2002. Feeding habits of the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) from the Ria Formosa (southern Portugal) as compared to the black seabream (Spondyliosoma cantharus) and the annular seabream (Diplodus annularis). Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 18(2): 81-86.
World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), 2010. Sparus aurata Linnaeus, 1758
Summary: Available from: http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=151523 [Accessed 12 August 2010]
Contact
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