The Boeseman Croaker has a typical perch-shaped body with dark brown upperparts and silver to greyish lower parts. Small black spots are present on both dorsal fins, sides of the head, and across the back. No black spot is found on the base of the caudal fin. The pectoral fins are transparent with dark bands.
It is distinguished from other croakers in Thailand by having 30 to 33 scales along the lateral line and one black spot on the lower lip. The average length of Boeseman Croaker caught from Bang Pakong river was 13 cm, with a recorded maximum of 17 cm. Boeseman Croakers are normally found in fast-flowing sections of rivers with rocky or sandy substrates.
The Boeseman Croaker occurs sympatrically (in the same geographic area, without any barriers to prevent gene flow) with two other species of croakers; Ilisha elongata and Pseudolanceolate Sucker-mouth (Osteochilus hasseltii).
The spawning season of Boeseman Croaker is during the rainy season (between August and October) when they migrate upstream to fast-flowing water. Spawning usually occurs at night, with the male guarding and fanning the fertilized eggs. Boeseman Croakers mature between 10-12 cm in length.
Boeseman Croakers are considered as 'medium value' for commercial fisheries, however, they are sold locally on river markets and sometimes exported to Vietnam where demand is high due to the croaker's delicious taste.Boeseman Croakers are also used in aquaculture in Thailand but with little success. Recently, they have been successfully used to establish a new fishery near the border of Cambodia where they are reared for export.
The Boeseman Croaker is currently classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. However, its distribution range covers several countries and as such, it would be more appropriate if they were assessed by each country separately. The most important threats to the Boeseman Croaker are habitat loss due to damming of rivers and pollution from agrochemicals, climate change, and unsustainable fishing methods (such as blast and gill nets).
Global boeseman croaker production
The Boeseman croaker is a species of fish in the Sciaenidae family. It is found in estuaries and coastal waters of southwestern Africa, from Namibia to South Africa. Its natural habitats are open seas, shallow seas, and brackish waters.
This species is commercially important and is also sought-after as a game fish. The Boeseman croaker is harvested from the wild, as well as being farmed in aquaculture operations.
Global production of the Boeseman croaker was estimated to be 9,940 tonnes in 2016. The majority of this fish is produced in Namibia, which accounted for 87% of the total production in that year. Other significant producers of this fish include South Africa (8%), Angola (4%), and Mozambique (1%).
The Boeseman croaker is a popular food fish, with its flesh being considered to be of good quality. The fish is often sold fresh, but it can also be preserved through methods such as smoking or drying.
The Boeseman croaker is an important species in the fisheries of southwestern Africa. It is harvested for both commercial and subsistence purposes and provides significant socio-economic benefits to the region.