|akiwa (Maori), bigeye cardinalfish, cardinalfish, apogon (France), tenjikudai, yesemutsu (Japan)|
Black cardinal fish is one of the worst fish caught in New Zealand alongside some orange roughy stocks, and should be avoided. An alternative is blue cod.
Black cardinalfish is a slow growing, long-lived (over 100 years) deepwater species and is the only cardinalfish that reaches a marketable size. It is common off the east coast of the North Island at depths of 300 to 800m and is caught in association with alfonsino around seamounts, and orange roughy. Black cardinal fish has the lowest ecological ranking (worst choice) out of all New Zealand seafood, alongside some orange roughy stocks.
Black cardinalfish is caught by bottom trawling. The concerns of the fishery include the damage done to seamounts and hill features by bottom trawling, the bycatch of protected corals (e.g. black and stony corals) and deepwater sharks. Also of concern are the declining catch rates in the main fishery, the unknown state of many stocks and the unsustainability of East Coast North Island and Chatham Rise fisheries, where stocks have been estimated to be just 12% of the original, unfished population size. About 79 seabirds are estimated to be caught annually in deepwater fisheries (orange roughy, oreos and black cardinal fish) including Salvin’s, Chatham Islands and white-capped albatross. No fur seal captures were observed in the deepwater fishery where cardinalfish are caught. The limited research, lack of an operational management plan and the unknown sustainability of the current catch limit or recent catches are also of concern.
Not certified under any scheme.
The main market is New Zealand with exports of $0.7m mainly to Japan (60%) and China (40%).
No regional or fishing method difference.
|Population size:||Estimated in 2009 at 4,400 tonnes (11.9%) left of unfished size of 36,800.|
|Annual catch limit:||Set at 3148 tonnes in 2009-10, and catch cut to 1968 tonnes for 2011-12.|
|Recorded catch:||Reported landings were 665 tonnes in 2014-15, which is the third-lowest catch since the fishery was developed in the mid-1980s. CDL 1 catch has dropped to just 27 tonnes out of a limit of 1200 tonnes in 2014-15.|
|Stock trends:||Declining, with catch rates in the main fishery (CDL 2) to a level well below a quarter of that in the early 1990s. No information on other potential stocks.|
|MSY Status:||Current catches likely to allow the stock to rebuild but still below 20%Bo.|
|The Ministry of Primary Industries assessment plenary report includes:||For CDL 2, 3 and 4: “B2009 was estimated to be 12% B0” and “Model projections indicate that the biomass will increase at catch levels near or below the 2007-08 level but will decline sharply at catch levels equal to the TACC.” For other stocks: “there is no information” (MPI 2015, p107-109).|
|Distribution:||Most abundant off the east coast of the North Island in very mobile schools, up to 150m off the bottom over hills and rough ground and at depths of 300-800m.|
|Maximum age (years):||100+|
|Age at sexual maturity:||35-45|
|Age exploited:||50-60cm / 35 years|
|Ability to recover:||Low|
|Fishing method(s):||Bottom and midwater trawling north of Chatham Rise where it is caught in association with orange roughy, hoki and alfonsino. Since 2000 about 75% of the catch is in tows targeting black cardinalfish and over 98% of the catch is taken in bottom trawls.|
|Habitat damage:||Bottom trawling decimates sea floor benthic species assemblages and fragile seamount habitats, bulldozing the sea floor destroying black coral, lace corals, colourful sponge fields, long-lived bryozoans and many other invertebrate species.|
|Habitat of particular significance:||Hasn’t been defined in New Zealand.|
|Bycatch:||Deepwater sharks and a range of deepwater species including orange roughy, hoki and alfonsino.|
|Ecological effects:||Impact on seamount and hill communities and deepwater fish populations.|
|Bycatch:||About 79 seabirds are estimated to be caught annually in deepwater fisheries for orange roughy, oreos and black cardinal fish, including Salvin’s, Chatham Islands and white-capped albatross. No fur seal captures were observed in the deepwater fishery where cardinal fish are caught. Protected coral species were reported caught in black cardinal fish tow in QMAs 1 and 2 including gorgonian, hydrocorals, black corals (Antipatharia) and stony corals (scleractinia) – which includes reef-like, tree-lie and solitary small corals.|
|Management component:||Single species but stock boundaries and number of stocks of black cardinalfish are not known. CDL 2 has three known spawning areas and spawning has also been noted in CDL 1, CDL 7 and CDL 9. No spawning has been detected in other QMAs.|
|Quota Management Species:||es, since 1998 for CDL 2 to 8 and 1999 for CDL 1 and 9.|
|Management plan:||Deepwater management plan for 2010-15 is out of date, and has yet to be reviewed and replaced. Cardinalfish is a bycatch species only in the plan, has 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:||The first accepted quantitative stock assessment was completed for CDL 2, 3 and 4 in 2009. An assessment of CDL 2 was previously attempted in 1997 and 2001. There has been no assessment for other areas.|
|Research:||A 10-year planned deepwater research plan has been replaced (after 5 years) with an annual planning process with unclear commitments. There is no planned research on black cardinalfish.|
|Observer coverage:||Just over 22% over the 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.
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.