|Rock salmon (South Africa)|
Rubyfish is a worst choice seafood. A better alternative is
This very long-lived (90 years or more), slow growing fish is found from mid- to deepwater, where they school over the seafloor and off deepwater banks and reefs. Normally a southern ocean species, in New Zealand rubyfish prefer the warmer northern and central waters and are most common at depths of 200 to 400m. Rubyfish are caught throughout the year, mainly as bycatch in trawl fisheries for alfonsino, gemfish, barracouta, hoki and jack mackerel. There is also a developing target trawl fishery. At least a third of recent annual catches were from targeted midwater trawling fished close to the bottom.
Rubyfish is mainly caught as bycatch in bottom trawl fisheries with some targeted fishing. The concerns over this fishery include the lack of some basic biological information about rubyfish, the absence of directed research, the lack of a quantitative stock assessment and, as a result, the unknown sustainability of recent catch levels. Also of concern is the lack of a management plan. Non-target fish bycatch (including marine mammals and seabirds) and bottom trawl impact on seabed communities which include coral and other bycatch are also of concern.
Not certified under any scheme.
Rubyfish are exported to Europe and Asia.
No regional or fishing method difference.
|Annual catch limit:||Limit of 12 tonnes since 2010 was increased by 30 tonnes in RBY 3, to a total limit of 842 tonnes.|
|Recorded catch:||Reported landings of 444 tonnes in 2014-15.|
|The Ministry of Primary Industries assessment plenary report includes:||
No estimates of current or reference biomass are available.
RBY1: “In 2002…the stock [was assessed as] lightly fished [and] it seems likely that the stock is above BMSY.”
RBY2: “Most of the current RBY catch comes from QMA 2. It is not known whether the level of recent commercial catches in this QMA is sustainable. The status of RBY 2 relative to BMSY is unknown.”
RBY other areas: “it is not known if recent catches are sustainable. ..The status of other RBY stocks relative to BMSY is unknown.” (MPI 2016, p 1107).
|Distribution:||Rubyfish are found in the southern oceans from South Africa to Australasia. Here, they are found in sub-tropical waters around northern and central New Zealand at depths ranging from 50 to 800m, but absent from the southern Chatham Rise and Campbell Plateau.|
|Maximum age (years):||100?|
|Age at sexual maturity:||7 (uncertain)|
|Ability to recover:||Low|
|Fishing method(s):||Mainly caught as bycatch in bottom trawl fisheries, principally in alfonsino fisheries. It is also caught in bottom trawl targeted at gemfish, barracouta, hoki and jack mackerel.|
|Habitat damage:||There is considerable damage to seafloor communities when caught by bottom trawl, or midwater trawl which touches the bottom. 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, rubyfish are associated with a range of non-target fish, including quota management system species (e.g. tarakihi, silver warehou, gemfish and ling – see alfonsino, gemfish, barracouta, hoki and jack mackerel fisheries for associated bycatch). Sharks and a range of non-target species, including sponges and corals are also caught.|
|Ecological effects:||The combined effects of destroying seafloor habitats and seamount ecosystems, non-target fish bycatch and protected corals can have considerable ecological implications.|
|Bycatch:||Seabird and marine mammal bycatch. The seabird bycatch occurs in the middle depth trawl fishery, estimated at 1160 seabirds, which includes cryptic mortality. Rubyfish is part of the middle depth fisheries that caught over 91 fur seals annually over the last 5 years. (See alfonsino, gemfish, barracouta, hoki and jack mackerel fisheries for associated bycatch.) These fisheries also have protected coral bycatch.|
|Management component:||Single species. It is not known whether there are different stocks in the EEZ or what potential stock boundaries might be.|
|Quota Management Species:||Yes, since 1998.|
|Management plan:||Deepwater management plan for 2010-15 is out of date, and has yet to be reviewed and replaced. Rubyfish is not part of the current plan. There is no operational plan and the old Deepwater plan lacks key environmental standards. The National Plans of Actions on Seabirds and Sharks are more relevant to bycatch issues but they are slow to be implemented.|
|Stock assessment:||No quantitative stock assessment.|
|Research:||There is little directed research on rubyfish in the last 5 years.|
|Observer coverage:||Middle depth fisheries coverage is about 8%, 25% in the hoki fishery and 38% for jack mackerel. The middle depth coverage is unlikely to be spatially or temporally representative of the fishing effort.|