Atlantic pomfret, pomfret (Namibia/South Africa), Brachsenmakrele (Germany), Pesce castagna (Italy)
Ray’s bream is a worst choice seafood. A better alternative is albacore or skipjack tuna.
Ray’s bream is a highly migratory species found worldwide in temperate, tropical and subtropical seas. The management responsibility for this species, as with other Western Pacific highly migratory species, lies with an international body: the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). However, the Ministry for Primary Industries is responsible for upholding WCPFC rules in New Zealand waters, with catch limits set under the quota management system. Ray’s bream are targeted and caught as a bycatch in the northern bigeye and southern bluefin tuna longline fisheries.
Ray’s bream is caught in a range of different fisheries by trawl (squid, hoki and jack mackerel) and surface longline fisheries (bigeye and southern bluefin tuna). There are concerns over the uncertainty about state of stocks and catch limits. The longline fisheries that catch Ray’s bream 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. Ecological concerns with the trawl fisheries that catch Ray’s bream include the bycatch of vulnerable sharks, marine mammals and seabirds. The squid trawl fishery captures globally threatened New Zealand sea lions and an estimated 1950 seabirds (including cryptic mortality).
Not certified under any scheme.
The export value of all tuna and swordfish species combined (which includes Ray’s bream) was $42.4 million in 2015
Trawl and longline fisheries that catch Ray’s bream were assessed but they were not significantly different. Both ranked as red and are worst choice seafood.
|Score:||Both trawl and longline – D|
|Population size:||Unknown – South Pacific migratory population.|
|Annual catch limit:||Catch limit of 980 tonnes in 2004.|
|Recorded catch:||Latest reported annual landings of 622 tonnes in 2013-14, the second highest catch for over 10 years.|
|Stock trends:||Unknown – there are no biomass estimates.|
|The Ministry of Primary Industries assessment plenary report includes:||
“No biomass estimates are available for Ray’s bream. There are no other yield estimates or stock assessment results available for Ray’s bream.” (MPI 2015, p294-297).
|Score:||Both trawl and longline – D|
|Distribution:||Ray’s bream is found worldwide in the temperate, subtropical and tropical waters in the Atlantic, Indian, and South Pacific Oceans.|
|Maximum age (years):||25+|
|Age at sexual maturity:||3-5|
|Ability to recover:||Moderate|
|Score:||longline – B, midwater trawl – D, bottom trawl – E|
|Fishing method(s):||The majority of Ray’s bream are caught in the squid (13%), hoki (20%) and jack mackerel (11%) midwater or bottom trawl fisheries. About 18% comes from surface longlining, including 11% from the southern bluefin tuna target surface longline fishery, with 5% from bottom longline and 3% from trolling for albacore. They are caught mainly on the west coast of the North Island and sub-Antarctic.|
|Habitat damage:||None in the surface longline fishery, but bottom trawl has significant impacts. Bottom trawling bulldozes the sea floor, destroying complex biogenic structures including soft corals, sponges and long-lived bryozoans. The trawl footprint area and contact areas varies but the Snares Shelf area, the Auckland Islands shelf, West Coast South Island, and northwest and southwest Chatham Rise were identified as amongst the highest frequency trawled areas in the New Zealand zone.|
|Habitat of particular significance:||Hasn’t been defined in New Zealand.|
|Bycatch:||Non-threatened bycatch include sharks and juvenile fish, and non-target species like barracoota, silver warehou and spiny dogfish.|
|Ecological effects:||Removal of these middle-tier predators can impact oceanic food web dynamics and have considerable ecological implications.|
|Score:||Both trawl and longline – E|
The level of protected species bycatch depends on the fishing method
Squid trawl fishery: This fishery catches globally threatened New Zealand sea lions, protected New Zealand fur seals, threatened seabirds and threatened basking sharks. An estimated 1950 seabird deaths (including cryptic mortality) occur annually in the squid trawl fishery. The main species observed caught were white-capped albatross, Salvin’s and southern Buller’s albatross, sooty shearwater and white-chinned petrels. The squid fishery makes up 32% of white-capped albatross and 35% of sooty shearwater captures.
Hoki trawl: An estimated 192 fur seals are captured in the hoki fishery (5-year average). Based on the recent catch spread of hoki, the main captures are in the Cook Strait (54%), off the West Coast of the South Island (24%), off the east coast of the South Island and Chatham Rise (15%). The hoki fishery catches about half of fur seals estimated as caught by trawling. The sub-Antarctic and Snares Shelf hoki fishery has a low capture rate for nationally critical New Zealand sea lions of about one each year. The trawl fishery also captures about 1420 seabirds a year (5-year average): the main species are Salvin’s albatross, southern Buller’s and white-capped albatross, sooty shearwater, white-chinned petrel, and cape petrels. Protected coral species are also reported caught in hoki tows in most quota areas. The corals caught include gorgonian, hydrocorals, black corals (Antipatharia) and stony corals (Scleractinia) – which includes reef-like, tree-like, and solitary small corals. Other bycatch species include vulnerable deepwater sharks (e.g. shovelnose dogfish, seal shark and Baxter’s dogfish). These low productivity species also include threatened basking sharks (observed at one per year, but could be higher), deepsea skates and some other elasmobranchs.
Surface longline fishery: 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. In the bigeye tuna fishery an estimated 593 seabirds a year including vulnerable threatened Gibson’s and Antipodean albatross and near-threatened southern Buller’s albatross (includes cryptic mortality) are caught. Also in the bigeye tuna fishery, four New Zealand fur seal captures occur per year (based on the last 5 years). In the southern bluefin tuna fishery, an estimated 623 seabirds are caught, and an estimated 100 fur seals a year (based on the last 5 years).
|Score:||Both trawl and longline – A|
|Management component:||Single species but reporting has mixed Ray’s bream (Brama brama) and southern Ray’s bream (Brama australis).|
|Score:||Both trawl and longline – E|
|Quota Management Species:||Yes 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 and no current WCPFC proposal for an assessment.|
|Research:||There is no dedicated research programme on Ray’s bream.|
|Observer coverage:||In the last 5 years it ranges from 4.7% annually in the surface longline fishery, 27.3% in the hoki trawl fishery, to 52% in the squid trawl fishery.|