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 Applicable
Fish type - White round fish
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.
Scabbardfish (also called cutlassfish) are active, fast-swimming predators that live on or close to the seabed at depths from 200 to 1700 m. They are consisdered to be a relatively fast growing species with maximum age estimated at 15 years. Maderia and Canary Islands are the only known spawning areas of this species in the Northeast Atlantic.
The stock status for the species in the areas assessed by ICES is generally unknown and there are no specific objectives for its management. 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.
Black scabbardfish are mainly taken in mixed trawl fisheries along with other deepwater species such as roundnose grenadier and blue ling. It is 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 deepwater 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.
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.
ICES Advice 2013, Book 9
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