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Abalone, Blacklip
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Baler Shell
Barbounia, Tiny
Bass, Sea
Batfish, Silver
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Bonito, Watson's Leaping
Bream, Butter
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Blackfish (Girella tricuspidata) Photographs and Information

Blackfish live only in waters off eastern Australia and the north island of New Zealand.  Blackfish are found in estuaries, mangroves, rocky reefs and inshore coastal waters.  They flourish in seagrass areas. Also known as Luderick and black bream.

Blackfish have a small mouth and slender, chisel-shaped teeth in each jaw.  They have a single unnotched dorsal fin with 13 or more spines and 14-16 rays.  The caudal fin is concave.  Their body is blackish, olive brown or grey and there are 8-12 dark, narrow vertical bands across the back and upper sides.

Blackfish live only in waters off eastern Australia and the north island of New Zealand.  Blackfish are found in estuaries, mangroves, rocky reefs and inshore coastal waters.  They flourish in seagrass areas.

Commercial blackfish catches are greatest where seagrass is most abundant.

Mature Blackfish form large schools of equal numbers of both female and male fish.   In about November they make runs from inside the rivers and coastal lakes to sea. They spawn in the surf zone and estuary mouths from about July to August in southern Queensland, August to December in Central and northern New South Wales and October to February or March in Victoria.

Juvenile Blackfish live in seagrass beds, moving to mangrove lined creeks and estuaries during their first year.  They are a moderately sedentary, schooling fish.

Blackfish are herbivorous and feed primarily on seagrasses.  Red Algae, green algae and cabbage week also form part of their diets.  Detritus, molluscs, prawns and polychaete worms are occasionally consumed, more often during winter and spring.

The only information on predators of Blackfish is that dolphins feed on them in large numbers, both in estuaries and offshore.

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Map showing where Blackfish or Luderick are found in Australian Waters.

Scientific Name Girella tricuspidata
Location SA, TAS, VIC, NSW, south QLD
Season All year round
Size 40cm, 4.7 kg
Australian Species Code 37 361007
Taste, Texture Strong fishy flavour.  Firm to soft texture.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Albacore Tuna fillet.

Kilojoules 521 (124 calories)
Cholesterol 30 mg
Sodium 37 g
Total fat (oil) 0.5 g
Saturated fat 33% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 13% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 54% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 14 mg
Omega-3, DHA 100 mg
Omega-6, AA 15 mg


Angling for Blackfish:

Blackfish are sought after by amateur fishers.  It is a specialised technique, requiring a high level of proficiency.  Most fishing takes place in winter.   Fish are caught with handlines and long rods with light lines, from boats, jetties and shore (rock walls and rocky headlands)  "Green weed" (filamentous green algae) cabbage weed or prawns are used for bait.    


Cooking Blackfish:

Fish should be bled immediately on capture, filleted and skinned and washed in changes of seawater. Colour of raw fillet: off white, pale grey or dark, texture - firm to soft, fat content - medium to high, strong fishy flavour. Microwave cooking times for fish. Easy fish recipes from How to Cook Fish.


Commercial Fishing for Blackfish:

Commercial fishing for Blackfish is all year round in estuaries and along coastal shores and lakes.  They are mostly fished for at night.  The methods of capture include tunnel nets, beach seine, haul and pound nets. The entire catch of Blackfish is sold on the domestic market in Australia.





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