Scalefish Purple Wrasse

Purple Wrasse

Notolabrus fuciola


2019/20 Assessment Summary


Catches, effort and catch rates of Wrasse have remained relatively stable for almost a decade, providing little reason for concern that the current level of fishing mortality is too high. Uncertainty remains over levels of potential localised depletion, and about the size of the catch taken by rock lobster fishers and used for bait.


Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery

Catch, effort and CPUE trends

Managing Jurisdiction
State (Tasmania)

Two species of Wrasse are taken commercially in Tasmanian waters: Notolabrus tetricus (Bluethroat Wrasse) and Notolabrus fucicola (Purple Wrasse). The two species have only been distinguished in catch data since 2007, despite their different size, depth, and tendency to be captured by different gear. Both species are protogynous hermaphrodites, with all individuals beginning life as females and some undergoing a sex inversion after maturity. Both Wrasse are reef-associated and are targeted primarily using fish trap (mainly Purple Wrasse) and handline (mainly Bluethroat Wrasse). Live fish trade is the main interstate market for Wrasse, while the local market comprises dead Wrasse for rock lobster bait and some human consumption. The live-fish fishery has accounted for > 90% of total reported catch since 2001/02 and there is no significant recreational fishery for these species.

The full 2019/20 Scalefish Assessment PDF can be found at the link: