Latin names: Macruronus novaezelandiae
Common Names: Cod, Hoki
Wild Caught - Australia
- Commonwealth Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (Commonwealth Trawl Sector) (3,952t 2012-13)
Blue grenadier is caught in a trawl fishery managed by the Commonwealth Government. Fisheries scientists have assessed that the stock caught in Australia is healthy.
Blue grenadier are caught using otter trawls. Some of the area where fishing occurs has been well mapped in order to identify the distribution of sensitive bottom-dwelling species; these areas are then avoided by fishers. However, trawling sometimes takes place on areas of seafloor that support sponges, hard corals and bryozoans (small invertebrates that form colonies similar to coral reefs) and it is unclear how much trawling activity is resulting in damage to habitats and associated species.
Protected species caught in this fishery include Australian fur seals, seabirds (including albatross and shearwaters) and shortfin mako sharks. Inconsistencies between logbook reporting and independent observers have been a problem in the past, however industry bodies have been addressing these inconsistencies through training schemes. Seal Excluder Devices (SEDs), which act as escape hatches for seals that enter trawl nets, are mandatory, and the industry has been proactive in trying to reduce seabird interactions.
While blue grenadier stocks currently appear healthy, this species is caught alongside many others, some of which are overfished (for example, blue warehou). The fishery also catches unwanted fish that are then discarded. Up to half of the catch weight in the otter trawl fishery may be discarded, and many of these fish die during the process. The cumulative ecosystem impacts of discarding fish have not yet been quantified.