- Better Choice
Note: A minor portion is trawl-caught in a fishery based in WA’s Pilbara. Red emperor caught from this fishery would receive a red, ‘Say No’ rating due to ongoing dolphin deaths as bycatch.
- Red emperor is a tropical species caught across northern Australia. The majority of catch in Australia is from WA.
- Recent assessments of the stocks of red emperor caught in the WA fishery indicate stocks are healthy.
- Red emperor is predominantly caught using fish traps and line, which have minimal impacts on marine habitats and protected species.
The pearlescent white flesh of Red Emperor is highly regarded by fish lovers. Its flesh is similar to that of Snapper, with a large but tender flake. Red emperor fillets can be steamed, pan-fried or barbecued. Whole fish can also be steamed, or wrapped in paper or foil and then grilled or roast.
- WA Northern Demersal Scalefish Fishery, Pilbara Demersal Scalefish Fishery (360t in 2021)
Red emperor is a tropical species found across northern Australia but fished and managed by different jurisdictions. The largest fishery for this species operates in WA, where they are mainly caught using line and fish traps in the Kimberley region. Recent and regularly updated stock assessments provide evidence that populations are around healthy levels, and that overfishing is unlikely to be occurring.
Trap and line fishing are a relatively selective method of fishing, meaning that there is limited bycatch of other species. The only reports of interactions with threatened species are of potato cod recorded in a video camera recording taken around the traps, but no potato cod have been recorded within the fish traps. Impacts on marine habitat are also minimal.
Some red Emperor are caught in a trawl fishery that operates in the Pilbara. This fishery has considerable issues with the bycatch of dolphins in fishing nets, and is not considered in this assessment. Red emperors caught in the trawl fishery would receive a Red, ‘Say No’ rating; however, the majority of red emperor are caught using trap and line methods.