- Better Choice
- Bluethroat wrasse are caught throughout southeastern Australia. The TAS fishery accounts for around 50% of the total number caught
- Bluethroat wrasse are targeted in line and trap fisheries, and caught as bycatch in other fisheries, particularly lobster pot fisheries
- It is unclear whether there are multiple different stocks of bluethroat wrasse, and there is little information available for stock health; this is less of a concern as quantities currently caught are low. Existing fishery information suggests there are no major concerns over the health of the stock at present
- Fishing for bluethroat wrasse poses a low risk to endangered species and marine habitats
Bluethroat wrasse is an affordable white-fleshed fish. Its simple, tender flesh is well suited to pan-frying with a little butter. It can also be baked or barbecued, fillets will require only a few minutes per side to cook through.
- VIC Ocean Wrasse Fishery (30t in 2018)
Bluethroat wrasse are a fairly long-lived predatory fish found in southeastern waters around coastal reefs. Bluethroat wrasse are targeted using line fishing methods, which are of low risk to other species. They are also caught as bycatch in other line and pot fisheries targeting other finfish and rock lobsters.
The stock structure of bluethroat wrasse populations is poorly understood. The species has 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.
Fishery information used to manage the catch of bluethroat wrasse is rudimentary – based on catch rate history, a measure of how easy it is to catch the species. This has been stable over time, and the stock appears healthy. The Victorian bluethroat wrasse fishery has a basic but adequate newly established management framework in place, that appears responsive to risks to the fishery such as from localised depletion.
The fishing methods used pose a low risk to marine habitats. Marine parks provide a small degree of additional protection for bluethroat wrasse, other species and habitats in Victorian waters.