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nicos
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Hi guys,

Below snippets of an email I received from Geremy Cliff (of Sharksboard fame), with attached picture. Please read from the bottom up.

I see this as a challenge - come on KZN jiggers, lets find one!

Nico


From: Ross
Subject: Please identify this fish.

Yes, the fish were both similar size +- 40cm and +-4kg.
The first at 100m and the second at 230m depth.
 Brad caught a third fish on the deep mark, same size and weight.




From: Phil Heemstra
Subject: RE: Please identify this fish.

Hey Bruce,

 This is very interesting.  It looks like the hapuku, Polyprion oxygeneios. This would be the first authentic record of this species for southern Africa.  It is similar to the Wreckfish . Polyprion americanus, which has a deeper body and more uniform coloration. P. oxygeneios is widely distributed in the Southern Hemisphere and is common at Tristan da Cunha (Andrew et al. 1995) and I suspected it would turn up in South African waters.

Does the fisherman still have the specimen? It would be good to deposit the specimen in our fish collection as a voucher.  We need a tissue sample if the fish is still frozen.  Does the fisherman have a weight and length for this fish?

 Best regards, --Phil

From: Bruce Mann
Subject: FW: Please identify this fish.
Hi Phil,

Please can you confirm identification of the fish in the attached picture as Polyprion americanus, both Sean and I think it is.

Cheers

Bruce



From: geremy cliff
Sent: 26 November 2009 09:27 AM
Subject: FW: Please identify this fish.

Hi Sean and Bruce

Please help. First impressions here were of a freshwater bass.

It looks like the fin count is DX1,11+, A3,9. Both angler and Kevin Cox suggested wreckfish. I presume they mean Polyprion americanus, which, according to Heemstra and Heemstra does occur in KZN. The fin counts do match.

 Thanks
 Geremy

From: Ross
Subject: Please identify this fish.

Hi Jeremy, please identify this fish. It was caught deep off Durban in late October I caught two of them, on two diferent reefs. By the feel of the sinkers it was extremely cold below.

Many thanks
Ross 

Attachment: hapulca.jpg (Downloaded 863 times)

Nepptune
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Holy SMokes!!!

Hapuka in SA?!?!!?? Frikken awesome!!! Another Jiggable species to target!!!

AMazing, be great to hear Jimi or Chris comment on this... looks like a Hapuka to me, but I've only ever seen viddeo and pics of them....

Brilliant!@

FREE THE FIGHTER
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Yuuuusssssssssssssssuuuuuusssssssssssss !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nicos
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Exciting hey? And the grow up to 100kg! The one above is still a baby. My summer couta and dorado hunting is going to take a serious knock from this! Now I need to find some very, very deep reefs. We plan to run towards the marlin hole and see what structure we can find from 100m and deeper.

Dorado75
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Awesome, chowed them when i was in NZ and they are great eating!!!

WalkersKiller
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Wow that is so cool!

Noweeds
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Last year saw wreckfish caught in the tuna grounds off CT....will try dig up a photo! Was feeding in the chumline!

nicos
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Noweeds wrote: Last year saw wreckfish caught in the tuna grounds off CT....will try dig up a photo! Was feeding in the chumline!
Wouldn't it be cool if they where actually Hapuku? :)

Dorado75
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Noweeds wrote: Last year saw wreckfish caught in the tuna grounds off CT....will try dig up a photo! Was feeding in the chumline!
Thats crazy! How big were these fish? As far as i know these fish are a protected species??

Noweeds
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Not more than 2 kilos. About the length of a black magic bread board.......and it was released!

Dorado75
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Nice one, have you got any pics?

Noweeds
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Will try find some!

marine69
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We have had one once just chilling under the boat feeding on the chum line in the deep as well. Must have chilled there lank rustig for about 2 hours....

Last edited on Thu Dec 3rd, 2009 12:58 pm by marine69

Nepptune
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The guys in NZ have something they catch alongside Hapuka, which they call Bass, also known their as Wreakfish ( Not Wreckfish )

Here is a pic of ChrisW with a Wreakfish/Bass:


And here is a pic of ChrisW with a Hapuka:


Any thoughts.... Weeds which one did your fellow look more like?

Noweeds
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Geez boet now you are asking me....looked like a frikken black bass like in the photo at the top of the thread!

Nepptune
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Some more 'Puka pics from NZ:


The familiar mug of Jimi the Fish with some monster Puka.


In full Jimaldo regalia!


And another HUGE bass caught by Don, those of you with the Heavy Metal at Ranfurly DVD will recognise this fish:

steve m
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Thats kif it looks like a bass. haha

marine69
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Yeah nepps, the one i saw looked exactly like that hey.... sort of biggish eye with that top dorsal fin structure.

Our fish was also only about 2kgs max. We couldnt believe how it just sat under the boat hardly moving. We have a shoal of dorries and the odd yellow flying in a out and it was still just chilling and min gespin....

fedu
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For what is worth fishbase says South Africa should have both, Hapuka & Bass (Polyprion oxygeneios & Polyprion americanus)

Hapuka



Bass





NZ should have, Bass Groper (Polyprion moeone), Hapuka (Polyprion oxygeneios) & Wreckfish (Polyprion americanus)

Really spoiled......

Last edited on Thu Dec 3rd, 2009 04:00 pm by fedu

tackle whore
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another monster from NZ.

nicos
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Interestingly, it seems that all of these Polyprion species are very vulnerable, slow population doubling time and mostly on the red list.

I am quite worried that with new techniques we are going to start impacting previously underfished species. Think about amberjacks - suddenly everyone is targeting them in SA where previously they where an incidental catch.

jb2
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There were some attempts to target wreckfish in South Africa.

It is interesting that all longline permit conditions in South Africa prohibit the capture of wreckfish.

fedu
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nicos wrote: Interestingly, it seems that all of these Polyprion species are very vulnerable, slow population doubling time and mostly on the red list.

I am quite worried that with new techniques we are going to start impacting previously underfished species. Think about amberjacks - suddenly everyone is targeting them in SA where previously they where an incidental catch.

Yep, and at those 100m to 200m depths I don't think release works...

tkei
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There wasa 51 kg wreckfish caught off el today. i am in possesion of the pics and they got a few good ones, but it specifically says not to post on the net, so i wont. There is a reef off el where a guy catches them regularly, but not may others go there.

Noweeds
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Ads i remember Mr Keet getting caned off Tshani by a wreckfish.......do you remember that say! Shoo many beers ago!

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The picture "looks" like a mongrel Hapuka/Bass!
Hapuka have a longer under-shot jaw and is quite a long fish. Its skin colouring is brown back with gray/silver belly. The Bass is much deeper and squat shaped with a blotchey mottled skin colouring.
Due to fishing pressure, these slow growing fish are found in deep reefs or far off locations. they are suckers for jigs and cut bait. You not find better eating fish than Bass.


LHS is Hapuka, RHS is a Bass (Wreakfish)
 

Attachment: IMG_0154r (Medium).JPG (Downloaded 298 times)

Last edited on Sun Dec 6th, 2009 09:08 am by ChrisW

Bycatch
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@tkei - for my and others curiosity, why are pics from the wreckfish cuaght off EL not allowed to be posted on the net? Some (incl. the 51kg specimen) were posted on other fishing sites.

nicos
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Possibly cause they are illegal to catch :)

tkei
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Bycatch.
I just saw this post now. The person that emailed the pics had specifically asked that they not be posted ont he net. if someone specifically asks that, i will not post it.

Nicos, Correct, there was a mis-understanding wrt Wreckfish laws. They used to be prohibited species, then new laws were passed and wreckfish was omitted from the list. As a result, people assumed it was now legal. off EL in particulare, a few guys were catching them regularly. Some big ones up to the 51kg mentioned and plenty in 20-30kg class.

In the last mobnth it was confirmed that it is still a prohibited species. East London SBC has issued a notice to all members that it is prohibbited and that anyone caught catching them, purposfully or keeping them will be prosecuted and removed fromt he club. Cl;ub records wuill however stay as at the time of capture, they were "legal".

I must admit, I used to think they were illegal and then also thought were 'unbanned' and have kept one or 2. wont happen again.

nicos
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tkei wrote: Nicos, Correct, there was a mis-understanding wrt Wreckfish laws. They used to be prohibited species, then new laws were passed and wreckfish was omitted from the list. As a result, people assumed it was now legal. off EL in particulare, a few guys were catching them regularly. Some big ones up to the 51kg mentioned and plenty in 20-30kg class.

Ja, it's confusing. The new 2005 regs, where they where removed from the list made people think they where now legal, but in fact, there are OTHER regs from (I think) the 1998 set that has not been repealed and still list them as prohibited deep water species.

I'd love to target hapuku, but will probably catch wreckfish when I do... which will most likely not survive. What to do?

Corry
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We have an interesting case where a fish being either a Wreckfish or Hapuku was shot. We did not know what it was although one of the guys and me suspected it was a Wreckfish. Unfortuantely we only had one camera there and those photos are crap. The one cell phone photo we have is also pretty crappy resolution wise.

Wreckfish are still banned. Regualtion 54 of the MLRA states prohibited deepwater species. Annexure 12 lists those fish. Interestingly Hapuku (Polyprion oxygenios) isn't on the list but with cathces it is probably a matter of time before it is added.

Exerpt from the Regulations (attached) below:

Pg 34: Regulation 54

 Prohibited deepwater species

 54. No person shall, except on the authority of a permit, engage in fishing, collecting, landing or selling of or be in possession of the species set out in Annexure 12.

 Pg 60/61: Annexure 12

 ANNEXURE 12 (Regulation 54)

 PROHIBITED DEEPWATER SPECIES

Alfonsino [family Berycidae including Beryx splendens (alfonsino) and B. decadactylus(long-finned beryx)]

Cardinal fishes (deep-water cardinals) (subfamily Epigoninae)

Orange Roughy [Hoplostethus spp. including H. atlanticus and H. mediterraneus (silver roughy)]



Pg 61:

 Oreo Dories (family Oreosomatidae including Pseudocyttus maculatus, Allocyttus niger, A. verrucosus, A. guineensis, Neocyttus rhomboidalis and Oreosoma atlanticum)

Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides and Dissostichus mawsonii)

Wreckfish (Polyprion americanus)

Attachment: Marine and Living Resources Act Regulations.pdf (Downloaded 1 time)

Jimi the Fish
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LOOKS VERY MUCH LIKE A HAPUKA

STB
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Hi guys please see the photos o Sealine .under fish I'd.polyprion americanus. And under Bluenoses off Durban.a sample was sent for genetic fingerprint.Please can you maybe help with the identification as the generic report say its polyprion most likely americanus because they say you Dont find oxygeneios in our waters but the high evalue say it can likely be a oxygeneios .

Attachment: IMG_20160516_081335.jpg (Downloaded 112 times)

STB
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Sample generic report.

Attachment: IMG-20161024-WA0005.jpg (Downloaded 112 times)

STB
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Same fish when dead

Attachment: IMG_20160220_143230.jpg (Downloaded 112 times)

STB
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Try this on the jigg the small ones is 12 to 21 kg.Big Bluenoses is 60 to 70 kg by estimation.I haven't been able to land the big ones because of tackle failure.And that's in Durban of all places.see artical Bluenoses off durban

STB
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Try this on the jigg the small ones is 12 to 21 kg.Big Bluenoses is 60 to 70 kg by estimation.I haven't been able to land the big ones because of tackle failure.And that's in Durban of all places.see artical Bluenoses off durban

STB
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Photo

Attachment: IMG_20160516_152009.jpg (Downloaded 109 times)

STB
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This is a nice size

Attachment: IMG-20160322-WA0001.jpg (Downloaded 107 times)

Bycatch
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What is it lately with anglers trying to find loopholes around catching Wreckfish. Not so long ago guys in the Transkei (Mgazana area) were targeting them claiming they have been catching Moustache Rockod all the years and it was a simple ID mistake! Come on guys, really.......!!

Herewith the difference so the same mistakes are not made.
STB - please post a larger file version of the DNA sampling so that it's legible? Thanks.

Attachment: MOUSTACHE_ROCKOD_vs_WRECKFISH.jpg (Downloaded 105 times)

Bycatch
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Is this better?

Attachment: IMG-20161029-WA0013.jpg (Downloaded 184 times)

STB
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Thanks By catch.I agree with line 10 my spesimen is a wreck fish(polyprion) But witch one.Because iv caught both on one day I release the americanus. I took this one to be identified because personally I Dont think its the oxygeneios. Look at your PIC and mine ..Line 15 say that it indicates to a oxygeneios but the report say you Dont find them in sa but fish base say you do.If the author was of oppinion that you do find them here,the report would have identified it as a oxygeneios. Line17 is the one I believe is what we have here.Iv sent the report to Oxford and to Australian Mirene museum. Australia refers me to Dr Clive Robert from the New Zealand Mirene Museum.They say he can read the genetic finger print and is the best in the field of polyprion. Its not to run loops around the law.I can see the pics and I'm not colour blind.The pics Dont match.Sorry but I have to know

Last edited on Sat Oct 29th, 2016 10:56 pm by STB

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The polyprion americanus(wreck fish) turn black when its dead in attatch a PIC of a adult.Our polyprion turns red /brown, more red.

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Answer came back from Dr Clive Roberts.It defnitly not a polyprion americanus., but a Hapuku .email will be copied and posted on my artical "polyprion americanus" and "Bluenoses off Durban" When he is back at work on Des 5 i will continue our research on this topic .A complete sample will be sent to the mentioned institution for further analysis.

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Thanks STB, very interesting. What I fear now is the number of guys who will be keeping Wreckfish on the strength (odds.....) of it being a Hapuka! This is actually a very delicate matter and I look forward to official responses from ORI, scientists and other regulatory bodies on the way forward.

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I receive feedback from Dr Clive Roberts witch is according to referrals the best Dr that has worked on this spiesie for 30 years.Read his email that I posted on the artical "Bluenoses off Durban" He was referd to me by the Australian marine museum and Oxford.Our local guys from ORI also think he would be the guy to talk to,so I did.In my opinion this spiesie is 10 times more healthier than any of our grouper spiesie we have in the shallows.I go according to what I catch and my own records.I still have to fish 9 of the 12 deep reefs off Durban but in the right time of the year.its like cuta season .,they have there time of the year when they area here in number that will blow your mind.The problem is no research have been done them or at the wrong places and time.But trust me we will do it just a few of us in such a manner to keep our infiromental responsibility in mind.

Last edited on Wed Nov 2nd, 2016 12:13 pm by STB

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I hear you and what you are doing is commendable.
I still however fear that Joe Angler is going to use the "misidentification" between the two species as an excuse, similar to the Moustache Rockod / Wreckfish saga recently just South of you..........

Are you able to provide a clear, accurate and descript method of identifying whether it is a Wreckfish or Hapuka?

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Yes with the genetic print out .

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Make no mistake it is a wreck fish let's be clear of that.The ridge in line with the eye lateral to the spine on the gill plate says to me it is a wreck fish(polyprion) but the sub spiesie. Defnatly not a americanus.More likely to be a oxygeneios, but I think we have a spiesie here unique to our waters.As soon as Dr Clive Roberts is back at work he will check up for me.From there I'll take it futer and send a sample to our marine museum in gramstown as asked by him.For the moment all of this spiesie is released by method shown to me by Dr Bruce Man.I did give ORI 3 live fish yesterday from the depth of 500 m which I could not identified ,they said the condition of the samples was in a very good condition.I will atemt to catch the bluenose and wreck fish alive ,my boat is rigged for it.It just takes a long time to lift them.

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STB wrote:
Yes with the genetic print out .

If that is the only way to determine whether the fish is gaffed or released then we have a huge problem on our hands.
I can already sense how many anglers reading this thread are planning on pinning the next Wreckfish they catch.bw_l_)

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I feel that proper research need to be done.In an ideal world al fish will be released.But for some one to class a fish spiesie with no idea what there number are is wrong.

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I feel that proper research need to be done.In an ideal world al fish will be released.But for some one to class a fish spiesie with no idea what there number are is wrong.

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These fish is very safe.Take it like this,out of all the boat we have in Durban let's say 10000 witch is Mutch more a maximum of 200 boats would fish 84 fa for geelbek.How many of this 200 will fish 500 m.At the moment only 4 of us.It also means these four boats are not fishing shallow.You get were I'm going with this.we will do 80 downs in the shallows in a day but only 8 in a day in the deep.

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I get it. However, I have caught Wreckfish juveniles in 80m already whilst targeting other species so the logic of some will be we can't fish at 500m but we can fish up to say the 150m mark and since we now have confirmed reports of Hapuka in SA waters, we assume them to be Hapuka and not Wreckfish and a whole new legal battle ensues.
Just my observation and Zim$20 M worth.

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What make this spiesie more important than any of our other grouper spiesie.They grow at more or less the same rate .80 or 150 m is the odd ones try 500 m or even better try 1500 m and see how big and how many.Nobody knows.

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What make this spiesie more important than any of our other grouper spiesie.They grow at more or less the same rate .80 or 150 m is the odd ones try 500 m or even better try 1500 m and see how big and how many.Nobody knows.

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Hapuku, Polyprion oxygeneios (Forster 1801)
More Info
________________________________________
Distribution Widespread in temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere.
Known from temperate waters of southern Australia from the Sydney region (New South Wales) to Rottnest Island (Western Australia), and around Tasmania.
Adults usually live around deep reffs and canyons on the mid-continental shelf to upper slope in depths of 50-640 metres. Juveniles usually inhabit surface waters, often swimming amongst drfiting seaweed.
Features Meristic features.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: IX-XII, 11-12
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 9-11
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 17-19
Pelvic fin spines/rays: I, 5
Vertebrae: 13 + 14
Lateral line (onto caudal fin): 77-98
Body oblong, of moderate depth (25-30% SL), slightly compressed. Head large (33-40% SL) with pointed snout; eyes small (15-17% HL); mouth large, oblique, lower jaw protruding; teeth villiform in broad bands in both jaws, present on vomer, palatines and tongue; opercula angular with prominent horizontal ridge ending in strong spine; preopercles rounded with small but strong serrations.
Scales ctenoid, covering body, head and fin bases, 140-180 in longitudinal series.
Single dorsal fin with a long-based spinous section possessing low notch just before soft part; anal fin with three small spines, third longest; caudal-fin truncate or slightly emarginate. Pectoral and pelvic fins rather small.
Size A large fish reaching a standard length of about 1.5 metres, and a totla length of 1.8 metres. The maximum reported weight is 100 kg, although some report 70 kg.
Colour Steely-grey, much darker above and on the outer margins of the fins.
Feeding Carnivore - feeds on a variety of benthopelagic and bottom-dwelling fishes and invertebrates.
Biology Little is known of the biology of Hapuku in Australian waters. The sexes are separate and fertilisation is external. Hapuku mature at 10-13 yeras and may live to more than 60 years. They spawn in midwinter following a prespawning migration.
The eggs and larvae are pelagic. Anderson et al. (2012) described eggs and larvae reared in laboratory conditions. Hapuku have an extended pelagic juvenile phase, and spend up to 4 years in the open ocean before settling out in deeper water.
Although Hapuku are widespread in sou9thern hemisphere waters, genetic studies have shown that there three distinct populations
Fisheries A highly valued commercial and recreational fish, taken in small numbers in Australia, mostly as bycatch in the deepsea Blue-eye Trevalla fishery. Hapuku are commercially important in New Zealand waters where they are taken in large numbers by long-line fishers. There is some concern that populations can be easily overfished.
The flesh is excellent eating.
Conservation • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
• IUCN Red List : Not Evaluated
Similar Species Differs from the Bass Groper, Polyprion americanus, in having a shallower body (less than 30% standard length), and a distinctly countershaded colour pattern - adults are dark above and paler below; pelagic juveniles have oblique bands on the body.
Species Citation • Epinephelus oxygeneios Forster, J.R. in Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin 584 pp. 110 pls [301].
• Type locality: Queen Charlotte Island, New Zealand.
Author Dianne J. Bray

http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3235

Attachment: PolyprionOxygeneiosNMV.jpg (Downloaded 100 times)

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Bass Groper, Polyprion americanus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)
More Info (WRECKFISH IN SA)
________________________________________
Distribution Widespread in southern Australia from about Fraser Island (Queensland) to north of Perth (Western Australia), including Tasmania.
Elsewhere widespread but discontinuous in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, including New Zealand.
Adults usually inhabit deep rocky reefs at 100–900 m (most commonly at 350-700 m), juveniles to 60 cm are pelagic, associating with floating debris.
Features Meristic features.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XI-XII, 11-12
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 9-10
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 15-18
Pelvic fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line (incl. onto caudal fin): 70-87
Vertebrae: 13 + 14.
Body depth 35.3-43.3% SL; head length 37.6-44.4% SL; bony orbit diameter 18.2-21.1% HL; upper jaw 39.8-50.5% HL, lower jaw protruding; posterior margin of preopercle and subopercle finely serrate (juveniles with strong serrations on orbitals, supraoccipital crest, opercular ridge, posttemporal, supracleithrum, cleithrum, and pelvic and anal spines).
Size Reaches 2 m in length and 100 kg in weight, commonly to 80 cm and 15 kg.
Colour Adults uniform dark brown to slate grey on sides, caudal angles white; juveniles brownish grey, mottled with irregular pale white to yellow markings, caudal with white margin.
Feeding Carnivores - feed on other fishes and invertebrates.
Biology The sexes are separate and fertilisation is external. Bass Groper spawn in mid-winter, possibly after a substantial migration to the spawning grounds.
Fisheries Taken as bycatch on deep longlines in the Blue-eye Trevalla fishery in Australian waters.
Conservation • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
• IUCN Red List : Not Evaluated (Australian population)
The Bass Groper is threatened by over-fishing in some areas and listed by the IUCN as Data Deficient in some parts of its range.
Species Citation Amphiprion americanus Bloch & Schneider, 1801, Syst. Ichth.: 205. Type locality: "America".
Author DIanne J. Bray & Martin F. Gomon

http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3234

Attachment: PolyprionAmericanMV.jpg (Downloaded 99 times)

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Still not matching the colour.They say 3 distinct populations of Hapuku and that you find them with the deep water travelly(bluenose)Confirms it.I think we have our own spiesie of Hapuku here with its own colours. But nothing beats DNA results.I'll wait for confirmation before I fish for them.

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Interesting have a look at polyprion idea