Bluethroat Wrasse

Latin name: Notolabrus tetricus

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Wild Caught


Key Facts

  • Bluethroat wrasse are caught throughout southeastern Australia. The TAS fishery accounts for around 50% of the total number caught
  • They are targeted in line and trap fisheries, and caught as bycatch in other fisheries, particularly lobster pot fisheries
  • Stocks are poorly understood and there is little information available for stock health, but current fisheries are small scale
  • There is a risk that localised depletion of bluethroat wrasse may be occuring in the SA fishery, which will require careful monitoring in future
  • Fishing for bluethroat wrasse poses a low risk to endangered species and marine habitats

More information

  • SA Marine Scalefish Fishery (13t in 2017)

Bluethroat wrasse are a fairly long-lived predatory fish found in cool and cold southeastern waters around coastal reefs. The largest Australian bluethroat wrasse fishery operates around Tasmania using handlines and trap fishing methods. They are also caught as bycatch in other line and pot fisheries targeting other finfish and rock lobsters.  In SA,

The stock structure of bluethroat wrasse populations is poorly understood. Bluethroat wrasse populations have a complex social structure where adult male fish defend a territory including a harem of females with overlapping home ranges. This likely makes the species vulnerable to localised depletion if fishing effort is concentrated in only a few areas.

Although bluethroat wrasse fisheries in  SA is relatively small scale and do not pose serious concerns at present, there is evidence of declining catches and localised depletion occurring in these fisheries. This could indicate issues with the health of the stock in both jurisdictions that will require monitoring in future.

The fishing methods used are of low risk to other species and marine habitats. Marine parks provide a small degree of additional protection for bluethroat wrasse, other species and habitats in SA waters.