threatened species ID Black CodThreatened Species ID – Black Cod

At Irukandji we believe that research under taken by the the Department of Primary Industry – Fisheries NSW is important as it helps make informed decisions on aquatic management to ensure sustainability for future generations. Therefore, we hope to promote to the public the research being undertaken by Fisheries NSW, so that we all can make informed decisions when it comes to in our opinion the world’s most important resource “the Ocean”.

The Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries NSW is a government authority, which undertakes and facilitates research on aquatic animals and plants, their habitats and ecosystems.

Fisheries undertakes an array of research projects from species abundance to anthropogenic impacts, this month we would like to take a look at threaten species in our local environment/area Port Stephens. It is important that as recreational fishermen we are able to identify our catch so we don’t negative affect the oceans ecosystems by taking unsustainable species of marine life.

In this article we will take a look at a threatened species, the Black Cod Epinephelus daemelii, and how we can reduce our impacts when recreationally fishing

Within the data collected during fisheries research project completed by Dr David Harasti for Black Cod Epinephelus daemelii, it was observed that their population abundance was comparably low to anecdotal data even though they have been protected for 30 years in NSW.

Although this species is protected from recreational fishing, the message and identification is not making it through to the recreational fisherman. Personally on a number of occasions I have witnessed recreational fishermen catching this magnificent cod assume they are a common fish and proceed to keep them; naturally when I inform them they let them go. Although this is not the only factor contributing to their decline, it’s definitely not helping the cause.  So let’s do our part as local fishermen and learn our local marine fish to avoid catching and keeping the wrong species, because if we don’t we could possibility wipe out an entire ecosystem by removing a species, then there won’t be any fishing for anyone. There are often signs up for fisherman to seek out and identify their catch and with the advent of smart phones we can easily look up the species on Fisheries website see link below, hopefully slowly we can get the message out there how important this is to the biodiversity and health of our ocean, our life source

Below are two figures of Black Cod Epinephelus daemelii we can use to identify this  important cod.


How can we help?

  • Always check the local signs/rules
  • Know our fishes or carry a chart to ensure we don’t keep the wrongs
  • Make sure the fish is with size limits “upper and lower”
  • Make sure you only take bag size limit or less
  • Only take what you can eat
  • Never fish in a sanctuary zone
  • Ensure you always take your rubbish with you, especially plastic.
  • Keep an eye on your surrounding fisherman, they may be from out of town and need a little guidance

If we all follow these golden rules we can ensure fishing for everyone for years to come.

If you would like to read more about current marine research about the Black cod please follow
these links:

For more info on fishing in NSW please check this link:

Bag Size limits NSW: