Latin names: Lethrinus miniatus
Common Names: Emperor
Wild Caught - Australia
- QLD Coral Reef Fin Fish Fishery (137t in 2016-17)
- WA West Coast Demersal Scalefish Resource (64t in 2015)
Redthroat emperor is a tropical species found across northern Australia but fished and managed by different jurisdictions. The stock caught in the QLD fishery is considered healthy, although there is less confidence around stock health in WA. The overall status of the health of the WA fishery that catches red emperor is monitored by using the stock status of three other species of fish (Western Australian dhufish, red snapper and baldchin groper) as indicators. Robust management efforts have meant that all of these indicator species are recovering from previously overfished status. A stock assessment for redthroat emperor was underway in WA in 2017, but was not available for inclusion in this assessment (in early 2018).
Redthroat emperor caught in the QLD fishery are primarily fished using line and trap methods. The fisheries also catches a number of other species of coral reef fish but most of these fish stocks are uncertain because of a lack of reliable biological data and information on the effects of fishing. In WA, redthroat emperor are caught using line and gillnet fishing methods. While line fishing poses minimal risks to endangered animals, gillnet fishing can be a high risk to marine wildlife, including Australian sea lions and great white sharks. Gillnet exclusion zones around sea lion breeding colonies are set to be implemented by mid-2018.
Independent fishery observer programs are an important method of verifying protected species interactions, as well as other fishery impacts, such as the type and volume of discarded catch. Unfortunately the QLD Government has closed the observer program for all QLD managed fisheries in 2012. In the intervening six years, there has been no independent on-vessel monitoring of the impact of the fishery. It is likely the line fisheries in QLD pose minimal risk to marine mammals, although there are some concerns over the bycatch of sharks. There is no observer program in operation in the WA fishery, and issues with the reliability of reporting in gillnet fishery logbooks have arisen in the past.
The impacts of line and gillnet fishing on the marine environment are minimal. In QLD, fishing takes place around the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which provides extensive habitat protection. Smaller marine parks in WA offer some protection.