Significance to humans

Despite their venomous nature, many scorpaenoids support important commercial and recreational fisheries worldwide. The rockfish fishery in the northern Pacific and Atlantic is one of the best known. Unfortunately, many Sebastes species have been overfished. This exploitation is due to numerous factors, including life history traits, oceanography, and the difficulty in identifying larval species, which interferes with accurate population management. Another interesting scor-paenoid fishery is the commercial harvesting of the highly venomous stonefish, Synanceia verrucosa, for live fish markets in Hong Kong. This fishery has been so successful that there is serious discussion about aquaculturing the highly venomous stonefish species.

The lionfishes (Pterois and Dendrochirus) make up one of the dominant groups of fishes in the marine aquarium trade. These fishes are not bred in captivity; all are collected from the wild. In addition to the large number of lionfishes that are collected annually, many other scorpaenoids are collected occasionally for the aquarium trade (e.g., the weedy scorpi-onfish (Rhinopias), the sea robin (Prionotus), and the bearded ghoul (Inimicus).

Inimicus Didactylus

1. Bearded ghoul (Inimicus didactylus); 2. Ocellated waspfish (Apistus carinatus); 3. Crested scorpionfish (Ptarmus jubatus); 4. Striped sea robin (Prionotus evolans); 5. Deepwater scorpionfish (Setarches guentheri); 6. South American pigfish (Congiopodus peruvianus); 7. Reef stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa); 8. Cockatoo waspfish (Ablabys taenianotus). (Illustration by Jonathan Higgins)

1. Belalang (Gargariscus prionocephalus); 2. Red lionfish (Pterois volitans); 3. California scorpionfish (Scorpaena guttata); 4. Red indianfish (Patae-cus fronto); 5. Merlet's scorpionfish (Rhinopias aphanes); 6. Bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis); 7. Red gurnard (Chelidonichthys spinosus); 8. Spotted coral croucher (Caracanthus maculatus). (Illustration by Jonathan Higgins)

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