opah, spotted moonfish, nandai, akamanbo (Japan)
Moonfish is a worst choice. A better alternative is albacore or skipjack tuna.
Moonfish are a bycatch in tuna longline fisheries on the west coast of both main islands.
Moonfish are caught as bycatch in the tuna surface longline fishery. There are concerns over the uncertainty of some basic biological information, and uncertainty about the state of the stocks, the lack of a stock assessment, or an updated and comprehensive management plan. The longline fisheries that catch moonfish also catch sharks, seabirds and New Zealand fur seals. The bigeye target tuna longline fishery captures turtles, including leatherback, a vulnerable threatened species. It also has an estimated capture of 593 seabirds a year including vulnerable threatened Gibson’s and Antipodean albatross, and near-threatened southern Buller’s albatross. An estimated 623 seabirds a year are caught in the southern bluefin tuna target fishery, including white-capped albatross and Buller’s albatross.
Not certified under any scheme.
Moonfish has low commercial value and catch is exported to Australia, Europe and the US. The export value of all tuna and swordfish species combined (which includes moonfish) was $42.3 million in 2015.
No regional or fishing method difference.
|Population size:|| There is no information on stock structure but moonfish is known to have a South
|Annual catch limit:||Limit set at 527 tonnes since 2004.|
|Recorded catch:||Latest reported annual landings of 56 tonnes in 2013-14, the lowest catch since 2007-08. About 70% of moonfish caught are mature.|
|The Ministry of Primary Industries assessment plenary report includes:||
“There is insufficient information to conduct a stock assessment for moonfish.” “While there is little information on stock status, available data suggests that moonfish are moderately productive and that most (71%) of NZ’s catches are of mature fish. Provided that juvenile moonfish are not experiencing high fishing mortality elsewhere in their range, it is unlikely that the stock is currently depleted.” (MPI 2015, p226-228).
|Distribution:||Moonfish are a widely distributed pelagic species found in both temperate and tropical waters of the world’s oceans.|
|Maximum age (years):||
|Age at sexual maturity:||
|Ability to recover:||
|Fishing method(s):||Moonfish are caught mainly by pelagic longline vessels targeting tuna on the west coast of the North Island and East Coast, with trawling for southern blue whiting and hoki being the second main method. About 76% of moonfish are caught in the bigeye tuna surface longline fishery and 13% in the southern bluefin tuna surface longline fishery.|
|Habitat of particular significance:||Hasn’t been defined in New Zealand.|
|Bycatch:||Various sharks are caught in the longline fishery and, combined, make up over 90% of the bycatch by number.|
|Ecological effects:||Removal of large predator species as bycatch in the longline fishery can have considerable ecological implications.|
Moonfish are primarily caught in the tuna longline fisheries that catch seabirds, turtles and New Zealand fur seals. Some of these longline fisheries also catch vulnerable turtles at an observed rate of about one per year but, given level of observer coverage, actual numbers could be 10-40 times this. It is also estimated that four New Zealand fur seal captures occur per year (based on the last 5 years). In the bigeye tuna fishery it is estimated that 593 seabirds a year, including vulnerable threatened Gibson’s and Antipodean albatross, and near-threatened southern Buller’s albatross (includes cryptic mortality) are caught. In the southern bluefin tuna fishery, it is estimated that 623 seabirds are caught. This fishery also catches an estimated 100 fur seals a year (based on the last 5 years). These longline fisheries all catch significant shark bycatch which, combined, makes up over 90% of the bycatch number. These sharks include porbeagle, mako and blue which are all listed as vulnerable threatened species.
|Management component:||Single species but there are species identification issues, with a new species recently described as bigeyed moonfish.|
|Quota Management Species:||Yes, added in 2004.|
|Management plan:||Highly Migratory Species management plan for 2010-15 is out of date, and has yet to be reviewed and replaced. There is no operational plan and the old management plan lacks key environmental standards. The National Plans of Action on Seabirds and Sharks are more relevant but they are slow to be implemented. There is no international management plan and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has yet to apply effective measures to prevent over-fishing.|
|Stock assessment:||No quantitative stock assessment.|
|Research:||There is no directed research on moonfish in the fishery.|
|Observer coverage:||Observer coverage of 4.7% annually over last 5 years in the longline fishery but it is not spatially or temporally representative of the fishing effort.|