Emmelichthys nitidus


Cape bonnetmouth, Redbait


Redbait, Pearl fish, Picarel, Red baitfish, Red herring, Southern rover

Cape bonnetmouth or redbait (Emmelichthys nitidus) are a widespread small pelagic species that occurs in association with seamounts, mid-oceanic ridges and continental shelfs in the southwest Atlantic, Indian and south Pacific Oceans. They can be found at depths of 20‑500 m. Redbait form schools by size and by depth. Juveniles tend to occur near the surface while adults are found in deeper water closer to the sea floor. Redbait is found from mid New South Wales to southwest Western Australia, including Tasmania. Fishing for redbait in the Small Pelagic Fishery focuses in the area of waters off southeast New South Wales, eastern Tasmania and South Australia. Redbait are mostly fished by boats operating midwater trawl fishing gear in depths between 100-400 m (ABARES (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences 2017).

The stock structure of redbait in Australia has not been studied. Redbait within the Small Pelagic Fisheries (SPF) is assessed and managed as separate stocks in the eastern and western subareas (ABARES (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences 2017). This profile focuses on the fishery in the eastern subarea.

Almost all small pelagic stocks in Australia are multijurisdictional (that is, managed by both the Australian and state governments) under Offshore Constitutional Settlement arrangements (AFMA (Australian Fisheries Management Authority) 2017), but state catches have been negligible for the past several years. The fishery furthermore historically uses midwater trawl and purse seine gear, but purse seine catches have also been negligible in the recent past (from 2009 onward) (AFMA (Australian Fisheries Management Authority) 2018).


No related analysis


Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 8

Managers Compliance:


Fishers Compliance: