View Full Version : Fish size - Red Emporer

24-03-2004, 05:18 AM
I was down at the local seafood shop on the weekend and saw some pretty small Red Emporer for sale. The legal size for reds is 55cm, isn't it? Well a couple there looked well and truly undersize.

Are there different size regulations for wholesalers and rec fisherman? I would have thought not.

24-03-2004, 05:28 AM
I'm not 100% sure but I believe the undersize fish are called "by-catch" from the trawlers and that they are allowed a certain "tonnage". Its a cheese-off when you throw back undersize reds all day, nowing they will probably end up as "by-catch in the markets.
Does anyone else have a clearer idea on those regs?

Regards, Tony ??? :-/ :'(

24-03-2004, 05:52 AM
As far as I'm aware they could only possibility be farmed fish, so who is farming Red Emperor and where, anybody know? Might be a silly question but they were emperor?

As for Trawler "by-catch" emperor in a trawl would be very rare as about the only place emperor hang out where there was close trawl activity is some of the scallop grounds apart probably from some of the night prawn areas? Really the sight of a emperor (any size) in a scallop/prawn trawl sort of means one is really in the wrong place and might have gotten off lightly as far as ones nets are concerned. Prawn and especially scallop nets are totally different to what normally would be required to effectively trawl some fish species ??? but emperor, really most types of reef fish aren't real candiates for fish trawling, sure might be the odd dummy but too many bloody snags.

Cheers, Kerry.

24-03-2004, 06:38 AM
Thanks for that. I hope you are right in them being farmed fish.
I have heard of undersize reds in the market a few times now,seems like its fairly common. If they are farmed fish could they be imported perhaps? Would be interesting to know.
I would be much happier to know the ones I throw back do get a chance to grow and breed!

Regards, Tony

24-03-2004, 07:37 AM
but still doesn't leave us feeling better when we see all types of small fish in fish moungers windows i know some of them are farmed but not all of them! just go and have a look at some of the fish they have like the red spot whiting! i mean they are hardly bigger than a sardine and some of the snapper and bream! hell i'v seen bigger goldfish!
a real eye opener for me was last time i went down to sydney and stoped into the sydney fish markets the size of most of the fish would of been touch and go if put under any relablie mersureing device
i would like to here from anyone that has or is in the buisness on how does the catch get mesured and when is it on the boat or does it get mesured prior to the sale???

24-03-2004, 08:22 AM
Kerry, yes they were deifintely red emporer.

I'm gonna keep an eye out when ever i go down there from now on.

What about black market/ private sales?

24-03-2004, 09:42 AM

Regardless of who or how they're caught - pros or recs, line or net - the legal measurement applies to everyone.

That's why we haven't been able to get an increase in the legal size of bream for instance - or whiting for that matter.


24-03-2004, 09:46 AM
Does this mean that they are farmed fish or just illegal?

Regards, Tony

24-03-2004, 09:49 AM

I don't know - I didn't see them. Firetruck should have the courage to ask the shop owner and then ring DPI if he's unhappy with the answer.

We all see illegal activity in the recreational/commercial fishing industry - how much of us report it. I've only just started doing it and I've been fishing for about 16 years.

Gotta start some time.


24-03-2004, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the info Brett!
I remember some time ago someone else said the same thing on this site, about seeing some type of undersize fish in the markets, I had a bit of a look but couldnt find that post.
It would be pretty cheeky to have a pile of illegal fish on display at a public market, thats for sure.

Thanks, Tony

24-03-2004, 10:27 AM
I wasn't sure about the regs that's why i posted a report here.

Brett i was nearly gonna ask them about it but i wasn't sure but next time i will for sure.

I suppose that i just took for granted that this mob knew what they were doing. Obviously that may not always be the case.

24-03-2004, 11:48 AM
tony i can remeber just a couple of mounths back a fish shop and some pros got into some trouble but didn't get fined for haveing greay nurse sharks for sale!
wasn't untill i diver was in the shop and relised what they where that he rang the dept of fisheries and they investergated!
sound to me like the whole fish marketing thing is going unchecked! >:(

24-03-2004, 11:59 AM
Kerry, yes they were deifintely red emporer .... What about black market/ private sales?

Just had to ask to make sure as when I've been down south and poked around the fish shops there's certainly some inventive names that make some fish sound that much better than the normal name. Helps sales, cons people and all that type of stuff.

As for black market / private sales, well as far asI'm aware commercial fisherman 9with a licence to do so) can sell direct to a licenced person and there must be paper work to show that trail.

Black market, well in Qld that's what all the new regs are supposed to reduce, with the fin cutting and all that but then regs only really kick in after the event and the magistrate takes over.

Cheers, Kerry.

24-03-2004, 01:48 PM
If anyone ever sees undersize fish in the shop window in Queensland, I encourage you to ring 1800 017116.

By-catch, shmy-catch. How many times do trawlers go down. Why ? cause they are Trawlling outside the area they are supposed to be in ( Yes I know about the tracking devices ), and they hook up on reef etc. Why ? cause they plundered the Prawns and are attemping to make up the catch/ quota with reef fish ( by-catch ) :P :P :P.

I have been told " personally " by a trawller skipper, that he has set his nets on the Barwon Bank drop offs, hauling in basket loads of reefies. Yes, it has it's risks. But it has rewards.

Again, if you suspect undersized fish in the shop, have a chat to the shopkeeper, and then itf you are not satisfied, dial the above number.

Cheers Phill

24-03-2004, 01:58 PM
Hi Guys,

For future reference, the 'Fishwatch' phone number is 1800 017 116.
If it looks suspicious or illegal, give the 'Boating and Fisheries Patrol' a ring so something can be done about it.

On the Red Emperor Issue itself, I'm not aware of any local Aquaculture being done on this species. I think it's highly unlikely that it's an import either as Imported fish usually comes in as fillets and not whole fish.

Cheers Craigie.

24-03-2004, 01:59 PM
Phill, you beat me by this - much ;D ;D.

25-03-2004, 01:06 PM
Sorry Craig, you can have the next one ;D

25-03-2004, 02:14 PM
under size fish and crabs is the order of the day at most of the fish shops ive been to.
one shop near my place has had 10cm sandies there on more than 1 occasion.
the fish would be fu^fed by the net. but i'd prefer that this trawlerman didnt profit from a poor day out. ive been cabing and had to through back 22 under size crabs, end result no take home crabs.

05-04-2004, 06:35 AM
Post removed at the request of the Member

05-04-2004, 07:31 AM
Almost the pocession of a knife on the back of a trawler is an offence.

Cheers, Kerry.

05-04-2004, 10:35 AM
Sorry Harry-Hoy, but despite what you say, I do know what I'm talking about.

I'll qualify the above statement thus,

The trawller skipper I spoke to was doing this over 15 years ago. He never dropped his ( by-catch ) at the co-op himself, but a ' mate ' , as he puts it, with a line licence is teed up prior to docking and the reefies offloaded. Sure he was doing the wrong thing. in 2 ways. had I known what I know now, things could be different. Not even sure if there was a Hotline back then !

No one even dare attempt to tell me that Trawller skippers/ operators don't catch reef species and keep them for sale.

In the ideal world , where everyone obeys the law, Yes, but this is the real world, and anyone here who knows a deckie/ skipper/ owner, even today, will know that this " black market ' still exists.

But anyway, this is a side track to the real issue of undersized fish by rec laws being sold by retail outlets.

Phill ;)

09-04-2004, 12:44 PM
Sorry, dont agree Phil

12-04-2004, 07:36 PM
I think you might be looking at imported fish, from places where the legal lengths are different from ours. And while Red Emperor might not be aquaculture species in Aust, they could easily be in Asia where the farm anything. Did you know that the French farm MahiMahi, which used to be farmed, in tanks in Two Rocks in WA. When Bondie blew the bundle they sold the lot to the frogs. Max

18-04-2004, 07:01 PM
Just for the record, "in possession" fish limits on trawlers is nil, nought, nothing, doesn't matter how caught. Legally a trawler even when anchored can't even line fish.

Cheers, Kerry.

19-04-2004, 09:25 AM
Harry what don't you agree about phills statement?? You can't just say don't agree and don't comment!!

19-04-2004, 11:20 AM
:)Dont wanna tread on any Toes here but me thinks ye shall find kerry n harry might be right ;).
Too many "what useta happen , or i remember bein told so n so".
Maybe we should stop havin a go at Commercial Operators because someone shoddy out there is tryin ta buck the system..Its gunna happen no matter what laws ya got in place, nature of man.......Whether be it Rec Fisho or Operator.
I took the Missus out for tea last night and she Ordered a feed of "Emperor".
When it :o >:( arrived i was about ta jump up and head for the Kitchen till me Noggin tells me"Old on a minute there mate, Emperor could also be Red Throat emperor" and when i checked out the size of the Fillet again, "YEP!!" about fits the size allright...
Coulda had a long debate on what was and how it was advertised on their Menu Board, but what the heck!! The taste was still good anyway...
Next time ask prior to ordering lol..

19-04-2004, 12:57 PM
They could be from another state or as someone said another country. The "Mutual Recognition" between states in Australia does allow for cross border trading.

So an undersized fish in one state may be a "legal" fish in another state.

As long as the seller can verify via documentation that the fish were purchased or "traded" from another state then it may well be legal.

19-04-2004, 02:16 PM
No one even dare attempt to tell me that Trawller skippers/ operators don't catch reef species and keep them for sale.

I don't agree with very much of what Phil has said but more specifically the above quote is hate mongering rubbish.

19-04-2004, 02:55 PM

What is the Fine , and more importantly Penalty ,for catching Reefies by trawling?
Harry ,are you referring to the Fish Receivers Act-NSW ,or some other Qld/other reference ?

Just an ask ??? ,anybody can answer (in present terms)


19-04-2004, 02:56 PM
Well my best mate his uncle runs his own prawn trawlers and i would have to agree with phill,from what ive seen when i was out there and from other stuff ive been told by himself and other skippers of trawlers,they all keep reef fish to sell!!

19-04-2004, 03:16 PM

What is the Fine , and more importantly Penalty ,for catching Reefies by trawling? ....

In present terms #;) there is No fine, No penalty for catching reefies by trawling #::)

IF you catch reefies they have to go back over the side.

It's not the catching, it's the keeping, non premeditated catching (similar laws apply to rec's you know) isn't illegal and doesn't breach "in possession" laws.

As for the "keeping" I'll find out for ya.

Cheers, Kerry.

19-04-2004, 03:50 PM
Thanks Kerry , sorry but that was my dominant C&K personality ,not the wussie C&R one :-X


20-04-2004, 04:05 AM
Kerry, Gazza,

A commercial trawl operator can still have reef species on board - after the new Coral Reef plan. However he can only do this as a rec fisho.

He no longer must cover up his rego but he must apply by all the rec bag limits and he must follow procedure like removing pectoral fins etc.

There's also one other thing - he must have his vessel dual registered. Most pros have a special transport registration (someone may be able to tell me what it is). To rec fish out of a commercial boat the vessel must have the propper (normal) registration for a private vessel of its size.

I'm led to beleive not many trawl operators have their vessel normally registered.

So if you see a trawl vessel without two registration stickers/numbers on the side of the boat with people line fishing or with reef species on board - I urge you to report it to fisheries.