Black cod recovery plan

A RECOVERY plan for the diminishing black cod population has been released by Industry & Investment NSW. I&I NSW Director Fisheries Conservation and Aquaculture, Bill Talbot, said the species is listed as a vulnerable species under the NSW Fisheries Management Act.

“The black cod is found in warm temperate and subtropical parts of the south-western
Pacific, including off south eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island,” Talbot said.

“Adult black cod can grow up to two metres in length and at least 80 kilograms in weight,
however it is more common to see smaller fish up to one metre. The species is slow-moving, curious and territorial, with divers reporting one 1.5 metre adult black cod residing at the same location at Seal Rocks in NSW for approximately 15 years.

“This territorial behaviour combined with its slow growth has made black cod vulnerable to
overfishing in the past and it is now unusual to find them in areas where they were once

The recovery plan has outlined key threats to the black cod population and a range of
strategies to assist in the recovery of the species. As part of the recovery plan I&I NSW will initiate and collaborate in research to get a better understanding of the biology and ecology of the black cod including their habitat requirements, movements and reproductive biology.

It is illegal to catch and keep, buy, sell possess or harm black cod without a permit or other approval. Penalties for harming vulnerable species or their habitat range up to $55,000 and/or one year imprisonment.

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