Bluethroat Wrasse
(Notolabrus tetricus)

There are several temperate Wrasse species (Family Labridae) that occur in South Australian waters. They are associated with shallow, near-shore reef habitats, making them particularly vulnerable to line fishing. Only the Bluethroat Wrasse (Notolabrus tetricus) is recognised as a legitimate commercial species for the MSF. Bluethroat Wrasse is the largest of the labrids, reaching a maximum size of 420 mm TL. Its distribution includes the coastal waters of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and extends as far west as central South Australia. The Bluethroat Wrasse occupies algal beds and reefs through the depth range of 0–50 m. It is a significant predator of benthic invertebrates that include crustaceans and molluscs. Bluethroat Wrasse are highly territorial and display long-term residency of their home-ranges. Their strong site attachment is associated with their complex social structure and reproductive biology. The species is a monandric, sequential, protogynous hermaphrodite, i.e. the adult males only originate through sex change from a female fish. The social structure is based around the male that defends a territory, which includes a harem of numerous females that have overlapping home ranges. This social structure is size-dependent, i.e. if the male is removed, its hierarchical position is quickly replaced by the largest female which transitions into the territorial male within a few weeks. This complex social and reproductive strategy complicates managing the fishery because of concerns about localised depletion and the need to maintain sufficient males in the population to ensure reproductive output.

Source:  Assessment of the South Australian Marine Scalefish Fishery in 2018.  Report by PIRSA

Number of key producing ports across South Australia

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