Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits rocky areas to a depth of 150 m (Ref. 9258). Carnivore which feeds mainly on small fish and crabs. Feeds by stalking its prey and swallowing it whole. Adults are home-ranging (Ref. 26966). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 58489.
  • Paulin, C., A. Stewart, C. Roberts and P. McMillan 1989 New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series No. 19. 279 p. (Ref. 5755)
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Distribution

Range Description

Parapercis colias occurs around all coasts of New Zealand and the Chatham Islands.
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Southwest Pacific: restricted to New Zealand.
  • Armitage, R.O., D.A. Payne, G.J. Lockley, H.M. Currie, R.L. Colban, B.G. Lamb and L.J. Paul (eds.) 1981 Guide book to New Zealand commercial fish species. New Zealand Fishing Industry Board, Wellington, New Zealand. (Ref. 3243)
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Southwestern Pacific: New Zealand.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 450 mm ---
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Max. size

45.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 3243)); max. published weight: 2,500 g (Ref. 3243); max. reported age: 17 years (Ref. 9072)
  • Annala, J.H. (comp.) 1994 Report from the Fishery Assessment Plenary, May 1994: stock assessments and yield estimates. Unpublished report held in MAF Fisheries Greta Point library, Wellington. 242 p. (Ref. 9072)
  • Armitage, R.O., D.A. Payne, G.J. Lockley, H.M. Currie, R.L. Colban, B.G. Lamb and L.J. Paul (eds.) 1981 Guide book to New Zealand commercial fish species. New Zealand Fishing Industry Board, Wellington, New Zealand. (Ref. 3243)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Parapercis colias is a demersal species, found around rocky coastlines in areas of high seaweed and kelp density, at a depth range of 0–150 m. It is particularly sensitive to water clarity and only occurs in very clear waters. It feeds on small fish, crabs and shellfish.

Parapercis colias is a type of Blue Cod. It has been shown to be a protogynous hermaphrodite. This species reaches a maximum age of 32 years. Individuals reach sexual maturity at different lengths and ages depending on their location. Spawning aggregations have been noted from inshore and mid-shelf waters.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 52 - 150 m (Ref. 9072)
  • Annala, J.H. (comp.) 1994 Report from the Fishery Assessment Plenary, May 1994: stock assessments and yield estimates. Unpublished report held in MAF Fisheries Greta Point library, Wellington. 242 p. (Ref. 9072)
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Depth range based on 2025 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 766 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 4 - 393.5
  Temperature range (°C): 7.786 - 18.158
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.205 - 18.689
  Salinity (PPS): 34.283 - 35.544
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.121 - 6.587
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.258 - 1.333
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.911 - 7.690

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 4 - 393.5

Temperature range (°C): 7.786 - 18.158

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.205 - 18.689

Salinity (PPS): 34.283 - 35.544

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.121 - 6.587

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.258 - 1.333

Silicate (umol/l): 1.911 - 7.690
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 0 - 150m.
Recorded at 150 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Parapercis colias

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)

Reviewer/s
Carpenter, K.E., Livingstone, S. & Polidoro, B.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.

Justification
Parapercis colias has been assessed as Least Concern. While this species is reported to be the most commercially and recreationally important fish species for New Zealand, there is no indication that harvest is unsustainable or causing a significant population decline. Declines have been noted from a few localised areas, but the major part of the fishery is reported to be sustainable and allowing fish to attain a size that supports the MSY. Harvest management has been implemented, as well as strategies for minimising by-catch in areas where these levels were highest. Further research is needed on sub-fishery BCO7 and monitoring of fishing effort across all fisheries is needed to ensure the stable landings are not a result of increasing fishing effort. Measures should be taken to protect important spawning grounds.
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Population

Population
The greatest population densities of Parapercis colias are typically seen off the South Island of New Zealand.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Parapercis colias is one of the most important commercial and recreational fish species in New Zealand waters. The Blue Cod fishery is comprised of 10 sub-fisheries known as BCO1 to BCO10. Total landings peaked at 954 t in 1985, the year before the Quota Management System was implemented; following that, there was a decline in landings until 1989, when there was a shift in the predominant fishing type from handlines to cod pots, after which annual landings continued to increase and approach the total allowable commercial catch (TACC). However, annual landings have remained under the TACC limit. Landings for the commercial fishery in 2006–2007 were reported to be 2,413 t. The landings and TACCs for BCO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8, are considered sustainable. It is thought these will also encourage stocks to safely reach sizes that will support the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). It is unknown if harvest levels in BCO7 are sustainable; there are some indications that abundance has decreased in a few localised areas.

Observations from recreational fishers imply that localised declines may be occurring in a few areas of BCO 3, 5, and 7, where fishing effort is most concentrated.

Parapercis colias is also taken as by-catch by other fisheries. However, offshore by-catch levels are thought to be very low. By-catch is either discarded or used as bait.

The species responds negatively to changes in water quality (nutrient enrichment, dredging and sediment run-off), through the increased turbidity and release of toxic chemicals in the sediment. However, this is a localised threat and is not considered to pose a major threat to the entire population of this species at present.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Parapercis colias occurs in many of the marine protected areas (MPAs) around coastal New Zealand. Since inception of these MPAs, studies have looked at changes in Blue Cod density within these reserves. Results vary on the effectiveness of such conservation measures. In the Kokomohua Marine Reserve in the Marlborough Sounds, densities of Blue Cod were 125% more abundant when compared to control sites. Body size was also found to increase (Davidson 2001). However, no such increase has been seen within the Te Tapuwae o Rangokako Marine Reserve (Freeman 2005).

The Blue Cod was the first species to be added to the Quota Management Systsem (QMS) in New Zealand. The government now monitors catches allowing for TAC (Total Allowable Catch) limits to be set if required.

Mesh sizes have been imposed in the BCO5 fishery to minimise the by-catch of under-sized individuals by the Rock Lobster fishery.

Monitoring of the harvest levels, fishing effort, and size of this species should be continued. Further research is needed on BCO7 to determine if the TACC is sustainable. Efforts should be made to protect important spawning aggregations from harvesting.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
  • Annala, J.H. (comp.) 1994 Report from the Fishery Assessment Plenary, May 1994: stock assessments and yield estimates. Unpublished report held in MAF Fisheries Greta Point library, Wellington. 242 p. (Ref. 9072)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1992 FAO yearbook 1990. Fishery statistics. Catches and landings. FAO Fish. Ser. (38). FAO Stat. Ser. 70:(105):647 p. (Ref. 4931)
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Wikipedia

Blue cod

Blue cod is also a common name for Anoplopoma fimbria (sablefish) in the UK.

Blue cod, Parapercis colias, is a temperate marine fish of the family Pinguipedidae. It is also known variously as Boston blue cod, New Zealand cod, sand perch or its Māori names rawaru and pakirikiri.

It is exclusively found in New Zealand in shallow waters around the rocky coasts of up to the depth of 150 m, though it is far more common south of Cook Strait. It is bluish green to blue black above with white toward the belly. Large examples are usually greenish blue in coloration, while smaller ones are blotched in varying shades of brown. An adult may grow to 60 cm in length and weigh from one to three kg. It feeds mainly on small fish and crabs. Blue cod is strongly territorial. Spawning takes place in southern spring. Blue cod can also change sex from female to male.

It is a plump fish which produces good fillets, but it has a very low oil content. It can be served battered, crumbed, pan-fried or baked. It is an important recreational species in the South Island and is commercially harvested. Blue cod populations are managed sustainably under New Zealand’s fisheries quota management system, although are becoming scarce in some small areas due to fishing pressure. Annual catch range is between 1,300 to 2,000 tonnes.

Blue cod

References[edit]

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