Hong Kong’s Napoleon Wrasse Complex

Napoleon Wrasse
Photo: Jene0001

You may have seen the images of Napoleon Wrasses caught by fly anglers in exotic locales. What you may not know is that Napoleon Wrasse are endangered and trafficked for table fare in Hong Kong and  mainland China

The Napoleon wrasse is one of the world’s biggest reef fish. Reaching nearly two meters in length, it gleams in radiant blues and yellows, has two distinct lines extending from each eye, and a hump on its head reminiscent of the famous forelock of the French general by the same name. Its general expression is glum, with a dash of alarm, fittingly reflecting its endangered status. One of these sad sacks can cost up to US $250.

The price tag makes the fish, also called the humpback wrasse, a prime target for trafficking, particularly in Hong Kong and mainland China, where the fish is reserved for expensive banquets and dinners to display a host’s high social status. Traditionally, banquet fish like the Napoleon wrasse are held in restaurant aquariums before they become a meal. Despite the Napoleon wrasse’s endangered status, some Hong Kong establishments regularly stock the fish.

LINK (via: Hakai Magazine)

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