As a charity MCS relies on your generous support

Donate

MCS Home

FishOnline

return to search Return to search results

 

Click to enlarge

Black scabbardfish

Aphanopus carbo

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - All applicable methods
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - All Areas
Stock detail - All Areas
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

Deepsea fish are highly vulnerable to over-exploitation and have a low resilience to fishing. Fishing effort on black scabbardfish impacts other deepwater species and habitat. Avoid eating.

Biology

Scabbardfish (also called cutlassfish) are active, fast-swimming predators that live on or close to the seabed at depths from 200 to 1700 m. Compared to other deep-water species they are considered to be a relatively fast growing, with maximum age estimated at 15 years. Maderia and the Canary Islands are the only known spawning areas for this species in the Northeast Atlantic.

Stock information

Stock area
All Areas

View map areas

Stock information
Scabbardfish is considered by ICES as one stock. The main distribution area has been identified as Subareas VI, VII, VIII, and IX and Divisions Vb, IXa, and XIIb. The stock status for the species in the areas assessed by ICES is generally unknown. Stock abundance has been stable since 2002. Harvest rates indicate a slight decrease in exploitation for fisheries in Subareas VI and VII, and in Division Vb and XIIb (northern parts) and a stable exploitation for fisheries in Subarea VIII and Division IXa (southern part). Catches in the assessed area have decreased since 2002 and catches in the remaining stock areas, Subareas I, II, IV, X, and XIV, and Divisions IIIa and Va, have fluctuated over time. ICES has advised that some fisheries should not be allowed to expand until there is sufficient information showing that the fishery is sustainable. Deep sea 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.

Management

There are no specific objectives for its management. In some areas there are area closures to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) e.g. deep-water coral communities.

Capture information

Black scabbardfish are mainly taken in mixed trawl fisheries along with other deepwater species such as roundnose grenadier and blue ling. As trawl fisheries for black scabbardfish are part of mixed fisheries, effort on black scabbardfish also impacts other commercial and non-commercial deep-water species. It is also taken in deep-water longline fisheries and in a targeted longline fishery off mainland Portugal, in which deep-water sharks are the main bycatch species. A zero TAC for deep-water sharks was introduced in 2008 and this may potentially lead to increased discarding. Deep-water trawls impact the ocean floor, causing potential damage to deep-water coral communities. This is however mitigated in some areas by area closures to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems.

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.

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 2014, Book 9 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2014/2014/bsf-nea.pdf

Return to top Return to top

Sign up to get the latest marine information from the Marine Conservation Society

Enewsletter

Sign up to get all the latest marine related news from MCS


The UK charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.

Read more about MCS

The MCS website uses 'Cookies' to enhance your web experience. Please read our data and cookie policy.
If you do not wish to use cookies please read how to disable cookies. Don't show this message again