In this month’s BBC Wildlife Magazine I write about the awesome fish that I studied for my PhD – the Humphead Wrasse, aka Maori or Napoleon Wrasse.
These huge fish live remarkable lives on coral reefs across the Indian and Pacific Oceans, where they change sex, gather together in huge shoals to spawn and form hunting alliances with other species. Sadly, they’re becoming increasingly rare. Like the elephants of the sea, they’re being hunted towards extinction because of the price ticket on their heads. Humphead Wrasse continue to be a delicacy in Asian seafood restaurants, where diners pay top prices – even their lips are a delicacy.
I also write about these amazing fish in my book Eye of the Shoal, including insights into what I got up to when I spent months studying them on a tiny, remote island in the South China Sea.