Species under the genus Plectropomus include the Squaretail/Leopard/Spotted/ Blacksaddled Coral trout. The stock is not well-monitored with only limited information available on the species. Current fishing practices threaten stocks and the Squaretail/Leopard/Spotted/ Blacksaddled Coral trout are overfished and/or at risk of overfishing throughout the Atlantic northeast. One of the main drivers for overfishing is the high prices fetched by the Plectropomus species in the Live Reef Fish Trade (LRFT) destined for Asian markets.
Single handlining is a very selective fishing method, with a negligible habitat impact, and low bycatch rate. However, the removal of top territorial predators in habitats like coral reefs is likely to cause trophic cascade effects.
Since this is an assessment with a wide geographical scale, management measures could not be evaluated. Some management measures have been established by a few countries with important Plectropomus catches, although they are not specifically addressed to the management of coral trout / grouper fisheries.