The Malabar grouper is one of the most important groupers in commercial and recreational fisheries in the Indo-Pacific region. Because of confusion with similar Epinephelus species, there is little data regarding the extent of its exploitation (3). However, it is believed that fishing has reduced the global population of this species (1). The Malabar grouper is also captured for the live fish trade, and juveniles are caught for “mariculture grow-out”, whereby the wild juveniles are put in cages and grown until they reach a saleable size (1). In addition, habitat loss places additional pressure on populations of the Malabar grouper. In south-east Asia, the area of mangrove swamps has declined drastically and a large proportion of reefs are threatened by human activities (1). These human impacts include poor land management practices that are releasing more sediment, nutrients and pollutants into the oceans and stressing the fragile reef ecosystem. Over fishing has ‘knock-on' effects that results in the increase of macro-algae that can out-compete and smother corals, and fishing using destructive methods physically devastates the reef. A further potential threat is the increase of coral bleaching events, as a result of global climate change (4).