|Australasian snapper, Pagrus auratus, at Melbourne Aquarium.|
|Global harvest in thousand tonnes |
Chrysophrys auratus (Forster, 1801)
The Australasian snapper or silver seabream is a species of porgie found in coastal waters of Philippines, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand and Australia; its distribution areas in the northern and southern hemispheres are disjunct. Although it is almost universally known in New Zealand and Australia as snapper it does not belong to the Lutjanidae family. It is highly prized as an eating fish.
Regional variation in naming
New Zealand: snapper (or New Zealand snapper when there is need to distinguish from other species of snapper).
Australia: cocknies (young smaller than legal size); red bream or pinkies (legal size), squire or squirefish (when bigger), snapper (at full size).
Victoria: also schnapper (ref: Schnapper Point, Mornington).
South Australia: the name "ruggers" is often used for smaller fish of legal size
The Australasian snapper is found on all coasts of New Zealand, especially in the north. In Australia it is found along the south coast, mainly near place like Kiama, Berry, Gerringong, Gerroa, Huskisson, Vincentia and Shoalhaven. It is also found on the coast of Tasmania but in smaller numbers. The fish spawn in inshore waters and live in rocky areas and reefs of up to 200 m deep. They school, and will migrate between reefs. Larger fish are known to enter estuaries and harbours, for example Port Phillip Bay has a renowned seasonal snapper run.
Growth rates within the wild vary with some stocks (i.e. the Hauraki Gulf, NZ) growing rapidly and to a smaller maximum length while stocks in east and west Australia are known to grow more slowly. The species is capable of living to an age of about 40 years throughout much of its range in Australia, and the Australian record holder of 40 years and 10 months was a 935 mm large nosed male, caught on 1 September 2007 off Bunbury, West Australia, and photographed on the day of capture. Sexual maturity is reached at about 30 cm long and a small percentage of the males will turn into females at puberty. Anglers are advised not to take immature fish, so as not to reduce breeding stock. The legal size in Australia varies by state, from 35 cm and a bag limit of 5 fish per person in Queensland to 50 cm in Western Australia. During spawing, these fish will obtain a metallic green sheen which indicates a high concentration of acid build up within the scales' infrastructure. Minimum sizes are supposed to be designed to allow these fish to participate in spawning runs at least once before they become available to the fishery, however given the slow growth rates of this species, there is need to consider area closures and/or further increasing the minimum sizes in each state to reduce the chances of growth overfishing of the various populations of snapper throughout its range. This may be important with recent developments in technology such as GPS.
Catches of Australasian snapper have varied between 25,600 and 34,300 tonnes in 2000–2009, with Japan and New Zealand reporting the largest catches.
- Allan, Richard (1990). Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Landsdowne Publishing. ISBN 1-86302-674-6.
- Snapper entry "SNAPPER - 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand". Retrieved 2006-07-22.
- Carpenter, K., Matsuura, K., Collette, B., Nelson, J., Dooley, J., Fritzsche, R. & Fricke, R. (2010). "Pagrus auratus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Based on data sourced from the FishStat database
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Chrysophrys auratus" in FishBase. September 2012 version.
- "Relationships among partial and whole lengths and weights for Western Australian Pink Snapper Chrysophrys auratus (Sparidae) - Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, Fish for the Future". Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-22.
- "Fishing Australia with the Definitive Aussie Interactive Sports Fishing Website! - Sportsfish Australia". Archived from the original on 3 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-22.
- Snapper, New Zealand"s Greatest Fish, Te Ika Rangitira O Aotearoa, Sam Mossman, AUT Media, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9582829-6-3
- Australian Aboriginal words in English, R. M. W. Dixon, Oxford University Press, 1990, ISBN 0-19-553099-3
- Matthew Flinders. A Voyage to Terra Australis, volume 1 at Project Gutenberg, entry for 3 May 1802
- Norriss, J.V.; Crisafulli, B. (2010). "Longevity in Australian Snapper". Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 93: 129–32.
- FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (2011). Yearbook of fishery and aquaculture statistics 2009. Capture production. Rome: FAO. p. 162.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Australasian snapper.|
- Fisheries Western Australia - Pink Snapper Fact Sheet
- Snapper, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.