Black Rockcod Recovery Plan


The  black rockcod (Epinephelus daemelii) is  listed as a vulnerable species under the NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994.

The  black rockcod is a large reef-dwelling grouper species that occurs in the warm temperate and subtropical waters of the south western Pacific, including off  south eastern Australia,  Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, the Kermadec  Islands and northern New Zealand.

The  species grow to a large size of about 2 m in length and more than 80 kg in  weight, although most individuals are substantially smaller. It is a  slow-moving, curious and territorial fish that may occupy a particular cave for  many years. This behaviour, combined with its slow growth, makes black rockcod vulnerable to overfishing.

Population  numbers have been heavily depleted in the past by line fishers and spearfishers. The impacts of line and spear fishing have reduced numbers of black rockcod to a level where it is now unusual to find large black rockcod in areas  where they were once common.

A  recovery plan has been developed to promote the recovery of black rockcod in NSW to an extent where it can eventually be de-listed from the Schedules of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

The  plan summarises the current state of knowledge of the species and uses a risk assessment framework to identify the threats to the species and rank them in terms of highest to lowest risk. This process is used to identify and  prioritise recovery actions to address these risks with the aim of ensuring the  recovery of black rockcod populations in NSW.

NSW Trade & Investment coordinates and leads the implementation of the recovery plan, with support from relevant government agencies, commercial and  recreational fishers, scuba divers, councils and the community.


Second Edition

Published: Feb 2012