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Prof. Yvonne Sadovy's Homepage


School of Biological Sciences,

The University of Hong Kong


Breaking News - TRAFFIC and IUCN work together with The University of Hong Kong to reveal illegal trade in the endangered Napoleon fish


| Introduction| Research interests | Related activities | Postgraduate research | Key publications |

Prof. Yvonne Sadovy
(B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D. Manchester.)

Tel.: 22990603

Fax: 25176082

Address: Room 3S-01, The Kadoorie Biological Sciences Building,

The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China



Prof. Sadovy joined The University of Hong Kong in 1993 after five years as Director of the Fisheries Research Laboratory of the government of Puerto Rico and then as biologist with the Caribbean Fishery Management Council of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA, USA). She was previously based at the Marine Science Department of the University of Puerto Rico. Current teaching activities emphasize the biology, fisheries management and conservation of fishes. Courses taught and for coordinated include Fish & Fisheries, Conservation Ecology, Evolutionary Diversity, Marine Heritage and Conservation Science in Practice at the undergraduate level. From February - July, 2007, she was head of Department just prior its integration into the School of Biological Sciences. She is currently Chair of the Science Faculty Board.

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Research interests

Principal research interests involve the biology and conservation of marine fishes, with particular emphasis on the groupers (Serranidae), and other reef fishes vulnerable to fishery exploitation. Investigations of trade in live tropical food and ornamental fishes, locally, regionally and globally, complement and direct these interests as does the theoretical issue of the risk of endangerment to marine pelagic spawning species from fishing, in general. Field and laboratory-based research involve studies on reproduction, including sex differentiation, maturation and gonadal development, age and growth, the impacts of fishing in relation to reproductive biology, and effective managment for threatened species. Yvonne has a keen interest in public education on marine conservation issues.

Recent an ongoing research includes development of scientific model for sustainable exports of the Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) in relation to its CITES (Appendix II) listing and its role in the live reef food fish trade, and monitoring for management effectiveness ( Development of scientific protocols for documenting and monitoring fished and unfished grouper spawning aggregations in the Pacific and Caribbean and management of thelive fish trade in SE Asia.

tiger grouper Left: E. polyphekadion , the camouflage grouper. Highly valued for food. (Photo: George Mitcheson)

Nassau grouper Left: E. striatus , the Nassau grouper gather to spawn in Belize. (Photo: Enric Sala)


Left: Cheilinus undulatus - can be approached closely when not fished. (Photo: George Mitcheson)

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Related activities

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): Prof. Sadovy founded (1998) and is currently co-Chair (with Dr. Matthew Craig) of the IUCN (World Conservation Union Specialist Group on Groupers and Wrasses, and collaborates with conservation groups such as the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong, Wildlife Conservation Society, TRAFFIC - East Asia AND THE Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In particular her work has focused on threatened species, the Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus, in the tropical western Atlantic, and the Napoleon wrasses (Humphead wrasse), Cheilinus undulatus, of the Indo-Pacific region. Work involves research and sustainable management planning in particular in relation to the CITES (Appendix II) listing for the Humphead wrasse (

Workshop on illegal, unregulated and unmonitored trade, conservation planning and non-detriment finding of Napoleon (Humphead) wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus Jakarta, Indonesia 8 - 10 December 2015

SCRFA: Her work as the Director of the Science and Conservation of Reef Fish Aggregations (SCRFA) seeks to conserve and manage spawning aggregations globally in recognition of their high vulnerability to exploitation. The first book dedicated to spawning aggregations has just been released, co-edited with Dr. Pat Colin of the Coral Reef Research Foundation, Palau.

Spawning for Survival: 2 and a half minutes documentary for Spawning Aggregations -- Download Quicktime 7 here

Recent and current public positions in Hong Kong: Board member Ocean Park and Chair of Ocean Park Sub-Committee on Education. Member WWF-HK Executive Committee and Chair of WWF Conservation Advisory Committee.


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Postgraduate research

Masters and Doctoral postgraduates work on a wide range of species and issues with emphasis on local fauna, their biology, conservation and management, locally and with international projects in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. Recently completed and current research include croaker (Sciaenidae) biology and swim bladder trade, seabream (Sparidae) sexual pattern and fishery, shark fishery history and biology and conservation of local shark species, the coral trout, Plectropomus leopardus, international live reef fish trade, population structure of groupers, and sea cucumber biology and fishery.

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Selected Publications from 2005




Other publications

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