|Beryx splendens, D. decadactylus|
|Splendid alfonsino, sudlicher kaiserbarsch (Germany), roodbars (Netherlands), beryx (France), kinmedai, kinme (Japan)|
Alfonsino caught by bottom trawl and midwater trawl are worst choice avoid eating seafood. An alternative choice is blue cod.
Alfonsino is the name used for two deepwater species related to the red snapper. They are both widely dispersed in New Zealand waters and are particularly found around seamounts and deepwater reefs in waters 200 to 800m deep.
Alfonsino is caught using bottom trawl or midwater trawl nets. The concerns over this fishery includes management of two species as one, damage by fishing gear to seamounts, ecological impacts of bottom trawling, shark bycatch, limited research, lack of a detailed management plan, unknown stock status, and unknown sustainability of recent catch levels and current catch limits in all of the fish stocks. Midwater trawl doesn’t have benthic impacts like bottom trawl and would be a better alternative. However a recent report highlighted that midwater alfonsino trawl should in fact be classed as bottom trawl, given the observed frequency of seabed contact and associated impacts.
Not certified under any scheme.
Main market is Japan (about 70%) with total exports of about $11.89 million in 2015.
Bottom-trawl caught alfonsino was compared with midwater-trawl, and regional differences considered. While midwater trawl had a slightly reduced impact, it wasn’t significant and both fisheries ranked red, as a worst seafood choice.
|Score:||Both midwater and bottom trawl – D.|
|Population size:||Unknown but could be part of a widely distributed South Pacific stock.|
|Annual catch limit:||Limit set at 3000 tonnes since 2007-08.|
|Recorded catch:||Reported landings of 2,693 tonnes in 2014-15. Catch limits have been exceeded in BYX 2 for 8 of the last 10 years.|
|Stock trends:||For BYX1 is likely to be declining towards BMSY. Unknown for other areas.|
|MSY Status:||For BYX1 – Likely to be at or above BMSY. Unknown for other areas.|
|The Ministry of Primary Industries assessment plenary report includes:||For BYX 1: “Stock size is likely to decline towards BMSY under current catches and TACCs.”
For BYX 2: Current catches “appear to be sustainable in the short to medium term.”
For BYX 3: “It is not known if the recent catch levels or the current TACC [total allowable commercial catch] are sustainable.” (MPI 2015, p49-50).
|Score:||Both midwater and bottom trawl – C.|
|Distribution:||Widely dispersed in New Zealand waters, but mainly found near seamounts off the east coast of the North Island and the Chatham Rise at depths of 300-600m.|
|Maximum age (years):||17|
|Age at sexual maturity:||4-5|
|Ability to recover:||Moderate|
|Score:||Midwater trawl – D, bottom trawl – E|
|Fishing method(s):||Alfonsino is primarily caught by bottom trawling and some midwater trawling over hills and seamounts around the Chatham Rise. In QMA1 the catch is largely taken by bottom trawl (BT) (61%) with the remaining catch taken by midwater trawl (MW) (25%) and bottom longline (BLL) (12%). Reported target species are alfonsino (81%) and cardinalfish (12%) for bottom trawl; alfonsino (55%), bluenose (21%) and rubyfish (21%) for midwater trawl; and bluenose (95%) for bottom longline. In QMA 2 alfonsino is also taken as bycatch in the gemfish, orange roughy and hoki bottom-trawl fisheries.|
|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. A review of midwater trawls in SPRFMO area north and west of New Zealand found that it met the definition of bottom fishing (Tingley, 2014). This was based on benthic samples in net, and net getting caught on the bottom. The review looked at bottom midwater fishing mainly for alfonsino. “In conclusion, given the observed frequency of seabed contact when using midwater trawls to target alfonsino, it is considered that this type of midwater trawling does fall under the description of ‘bottom trawling’ as defined in CMM 2.03.” It also recommended a lower impact ranking which is consistent with the Best Fish Guide approach.|
|Habitat of particular significance:||Hasn’t been defined in New Zealand.|
|Bycatch:||Non-target fish species bycatch occurs and includes deepwater sharks and benthic species like sponges and corals.|
|Ecological effects:||The combined effects of destroying seafloor habitats and seamount ecosystems, non-target fish bycatch and protected corals can have considerable ecological implications.|
|Score:||Both midwater and bottom trawl – B|
|Bycatch:||Alfonsino trawl fishery has significant seabird and marine mammal bycatch. It is estimated that 1160 seabirds which includes cryptic mortality are caught in middle depth trawl fisheries. Fur seal captures are likely to be low, especially around the east and north of the North Island coast. Alfonsino is part of the middle depth fisheries that caught over 91 fur seals annually over the last 5 years. Protected coral species were reported caught in alfonsino tows in QMA 1, 2, 4 and 9. The corals caught include gorgonian, hydrocorals, black corals (Antipatharia) and stony corals (Scleractinia) – which includes reef-like, tree-like, and solitary small corals.|
|Score:||Both midwater and bottom trawl – E.|
|Management component:||Two species managed as one. Stock structure is unknown and New Zealand fish could be a single stock or part of a South Pacific wide stock.|
|Score:||Both midwater and bottom trawl – D.|
|Quota Management Species:||Yes, since 1986.|
|Management plan:||Deepwater management plan for 2010-15 is out of date, and has yet to be reviewed and replaced. Alfonsino is outside of the current plan. There is no operational plan and the old deepwater plan lacks key environmental standards. The National Plans of Action on Seabirds and Sharks are more relevant to bycatch issues but they are slow to be implemented.|
|Stock assessment:||No recent assessments for any area except level 2 for BYX 1. BYX2 has had no quantitative assessment since 1992.|
|Research:||The most recent assessment information was in 2010 and there is no dedicated research programme for alfonsino.|
|Observer coverage:||Less than 2% is observed in the small boat fleet in BYX1, 2 and 3 but it is not spatially or temporally representative of the fishing effort.|
Report from the Fishery Assessment plenary, May 2016: stock assessments and yield estimates. Part 1: Introductory Section to Hoki. Science Group, Ministry for Primary Industries; Ministry for Primary Industries (2016) Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review 2015. Compiled by the Fisheries Management Science Team, Ministry for Primary Industries. 682p. The Guidebook to New Zealand Commercial Fish Species, 2007 Revised Edition, The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Ltd. Seafood NZ, 2016. New Zealand Seafood Exports to December 2015. 133p. Annual Review Report for Deepwater Fisheries for 2014/15. MPI Technical Paper No: 2016/09. Prepared by the Ministry for Primary Industries. March 2016. 103p. S.J. Baird, D. Tracey, S. Mormede, M. Clark (2013) The distribution of protected corals in New Zealand waters. Prepared for DOC, February 2013. 96p. MFish (2010) National Fisheries Plan for Deep-Water and Middle-Depth Fisheries, 2010. 51p. Tingley G (2014) An assessment of the potential for near-seabed midwater trawling to contact the seabed and to impact benthic habitat and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs). MPI Technical Paper No: 2014/30NZ. 2nd Meeting of the Scientific Committee of SPRFMO. 2014 SC-02-10.