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Redfish

Sebastes spp

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Pelagic trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - Atlantic
Stock detail - All Applicable
Accreditation -
Fish type - White round fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is the least sustainable fish to eat and should be avoided. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find sustainable fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

Most deep-water and long-living species like redfish can only sustain low rates of exploitation, since slow-growing and long-lived species that are depleted have a long recovery period. Beaked and Golden redfish are also aggregating deep-sea species and therefore vulnerable to over-exploitation. There is currently very little data on the deepsea ecosystem and fish stocks, thus it is almost impossible to manage deepsea fisheries sustainably. Avoid eating deepsea fish species.

Biology

Deepsea fish in general have very low productivity, a high age at maturity and tend to live a long time. Many populations have decreased significantly. There is a tendency for deepsea fish to form discrete aggregations which are susceptible to sequential depletion. Beaked redfish (S.mentella) is long-lived (maximum age 75 years), and inhabits waters from 300 to 1400 m in the North Atlantic. They aggregate to mate. Spawning takes place during March to April. The size and age at first maturity (50%) are 31 cm and 11 years. Golden redfish (S. marinus) is also a species with late maturation (matures between 10 and 14 years old) and slow growth (lives for more than 50 years).

Stock information

Stock area
Atlantic

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Stock information
Three species of redfish are commercially exploited in ICES subareas V, VI, XII, and XIV: S.marinus, S.mentella, and S.viviparus. Deepsea fish in general can only sustain very low rates of exploitation because of their very low productivity, high age at maturity and long lived trend. Many populations have decreased significantly. There is a tendency for deepsea fish to form discrete aggregations which are susceptible to sequential depletion - an aggregation of fish is found and fished until it becomes depleted, then the vessels move on to another area of abundance and the same pattern is repeated. This is a fishing pattern often seen in deep water fisheries. The biomass for the deep (more than 500 m) pelagic stock of beaked redfish off Iceland and E Greenland has decreased by 40% in the last decade. The exploitation rate on the stock is unknown. Acoustic surveys of the shallow (less than 500 m) pelagic stock indicates that it has declined to less than 5% of the estimates at the beginning of the survey time-series in the early 1990s. The exploitation rate for this stock is unknown.

Management

It is considered incredibly difficult to manage a fishery for deepwater species sustainably; with the current poor data on the vast majority of deepsea fisheries, and poor understanding of the effects on the deepsea ecosystem and seabed, present knowledge is inadequate to provide sustainable advice. Due to the international nature of many of the deep sea fisheries on the high seas, compliance with any regulations can be low, and due to the difficulties in enforcement on the high seas, there can be huge problems with Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported catches.

Capture information

Deepsea ecosystems are highly vulnerable and have a very low resilience, thus the impacts of any large scale removal of fish or abrasion of the seabed caused by fishing gear are likely to be severely detrimental with recovery slow, especially with regard to coldwater corals.

Read more about capture methods

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Alaska pollock, Walleye pollock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bass, seabass Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Black bream or porgy or seabream

Bream, gilthead Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Cod, Atlantic Cod Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Coley, Saithe Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Haddock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Hake, Cape

Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola

Meagre

Pouting or Bib

Sturgeon Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Tilapia

Whiting Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.


References
ICES Advice 2013, Book 2

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