Scientific name

Epinephelus coioides

Locally known as


IUCN status

Near Threatened


The Orange-spotted Grouper is a large, robust fish with numerous, small, orange or reddish-brown spots for which it is named.

Key threats

Habitat loss and overfishing.

Where they're found today

 Groupers are found in both the western Pacific and Indian Ocean, they inhabit turbid coastal reefs and rocky areas.

Abu Dhabi’s efforts

As many of our key fish species have been found to be heavily over exploited, EAD has implemented a wide variety of regulations and campaigns to help conserve fisheries resources and rebuild stocks. In 2010, we launched the Choose Wisely initiate to raise awareness of the status of UAE fish stocks among consumers and to promote sustainable fisheries.

In 2016, EAD in partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) conducted the Fisheries Resources Assessment Survey (FRAS) as part of the UAE National Fisheries Programme, to assess the state of Abu Dhabi’s fish stocks. The survey revealed that the Orange-spotted Grouper, among other species, are overexploited by up to five times the sustainable limit. In response, a Ministerial Resolution was issued in 2019, which bans the use of gargoor, a traditional fishing method in the UAE.

Fun facts

1. An aggressive predator, hamour is at the top the food chain in its natural habitat, the coral reef.
2. All Orange-spotted Groupers are born female. However, at around 4 years old, if there are not enough males in the local population; some females turn into males.
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