Redfish

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Redfish (Centroberyx affinis) occur in continental shelf and upper slope waters (depths from
10 to 500 m) from northern NSW to eastern Bass Strait. Juvenile fish occur in the deeper bays and estuaries and over reefs in inshore waters. Redfish is a strongly schooling species, generally occurring in association with hard bottom types and other structures (e.g. shipwrecks).

Redfish are mostly caught in the Commonwealth fisheries, where recent landings have been around 200 t – despite the Total Allowable Catch being about 800 t. Recent landings from NSW-managed commercial fisheries are less than 50 t. Smaller quantities of redfish are taken by recreational fishers off NSW.

Redfish are slow growing and long-lived fish, which may reach a maximum age of about 30 years and 1 kg in weight. Most aspects of the species’ biology have been studied and are reasonably well understood. A long time series of monitoring data is available for Commonwealth fisheries and research trawls, and some data are available on the size composition of catches by NSW trawlers in recent years.

Reasonably detailed stock assessments conducted as part of the Commonwealth process indicate that the redfish stock is significantly growth overfished (i.e. on average, fish are caught at too small a size to maximise the yield in weight). The most recent Commonwealth assessment is uncertain as

to whether the redfish stock is overfished, however all the main indicators suggest that the stock remains significantly depleted.

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