|kokiri, kiririi (Maori), trigger fish|
Leatherjacket is a worst choice seafood. A better alternative is red gurnard or pot caught blue cod.
Leatherjacket or creamfish is a relatively small coastal species found throughout New Zealand, but largely caught off the South Island. Most of the catch is taken as bycatch in a range of trawl fisheries mainly targeting trevally, red gurnard and snapper but in recent years it has also been caught in some fisheries targeting squid.
Leatherjacket is caught using bottom trawls. Uncertainty about the state of the stocks, the lack of a stock assessment, limited research and no management plan are of concern. Bycatch of sharks and seabirds in associated fisheries is also of concern: inshore trawl fisheries are estimated to capture 4370 seabirds per year, including cryptic mortality. There are impacts on seafloor habitats when caught with bottom trawl gear.
Not certified under any scheme.
The main market is domestic, with exports of $582,000 in 2015 to China (50%), South Korea and Japan.
No regional or fishing method difference.
|Population size:||Uncertain, and stock structure is unknown.|
|Annual catch limit:||Limit increased in QMA 3,5 and 6 by 30 tonnes in 2013-14 – so the total increased to 1461 tonnes, from 1431 tonnes which had been set in 2003.|
|Recorded catch:||Latest reported annual landings of 374 tonnes in 2014-15, well below the 1300 tonnes reported caught in 1999-2000 fishing year and the catch limit.|
|The Ministry of Primary Industries assessment plenary report includes:||“There has been no scientific assessment of the maximum sustainable yield, reference or current biomass of any of the leatherjacket stocks.” For Canterbury-Southland area: Stock is unknown in relation to targets and “It is unknown whether overfishing is occurring”. The characterisation and CPUE analysis is affected “by the low number of vessels in the analysis and trends in targeting or retention of leatherjacket”. (MPI 2016, p 620-625).|
|Distribution:||Leatherjacket is distributed throughout New Zealand including the Chatham Islands. It is caught on the East Coast between Otago and East Cape in Southland and between Cape Farewell and Cape Foulwind on the West Coast.|
|Maximum age (years):||7+?|
|Age at sexual maturity:||2|
|Ability to recover:||Moderate|
|Fishing method(s):||Bycatch in a range of bottom trawl fisheries, including those targeting flatfish, trevally, elephantfish, red gurnard, red cod, barracouta, and snapper.|
|Habitat damage:||Trawl fishing with bottom gear scrapes the seabed, reducing species diversity and altering habitat composition. Impacts include habitat modification, loss of biodiversity, loss of benthic productivity and modification of important breeding and juvenile fish habitat.|
|Habitat of particular significance:||hasn’t been defined in New Zealand.|
|Bycatch:||As a bycatch species itself, this fishery is associated with the bycatch problems of other fisheries, including sharks. Leatherjackets are caught by a wide range of inshore fisheries including those targeting red cod and barracouta.|
|Ecological effects:||Damage to seafloor habitats and removal of this coastal species could have adverse ecological impacts on associated species and food webs.|
|Bycatch:||As a bycatch species itself, this fishery is associated with the bycatch problems of other fisheries, including seabirds. Inshore trawl fisheries have an estimated seabird bycatch of 4370 seabirds (this includes cryptic mortality of birds that strike the trawl warps and are not recovered in the nets). Species reported include white-capped albatross, Salvin’s albatross and white-chinned petrels. Fur seal captures have also been estimated in the inshore trawl fisheries at about 20 per year. See flatfish, trevally, elephantfish, red gurnard, red cod, barracouta, and snapper for more information.|
|Management component:||Single species, but stock structure is unknown and many quota areas are combined.|
|Quota Management Species:||Yes in 2003.|
|Management plan:||There is no approved inshore plan.|
|Stock assessment:||No completed quantitative stock assessment, but a characterisation and CPUE analysis was completed in 2013 for Canterbury-Southland quota area.|
|Research:||There is no directed research on leatherjackets.|
|Observer coverage:||About 1.5% for the inshore trawl fishery over last 5 years but it is not spatially or temporally representative of the fishing effort.|
Taken from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Plenary report for fisheries management.
Final Advice Paper; Setting of Sustainability and Other Management Controls for Stocks to be introduced into the QMS on 1 October 2003. 18 July 2003 Report from the Fishery Assessment Plenary, May 2016: stock assessments and yield estimates. Part 2: John Dory to Red Cod Science Group, Ministry of Fisheries; The Guidebook to New Zealand Commercial Fish Species, 2007 Revised Edition, The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Ltd. Seafood New Zealand, 2016. New Zealand Seafood Exports to December 2015. 133p.