Illustration of Yellowtail

Yellowtail

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

California yellowtail

Seriola lalandi

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California

Overall Rating

3.4 / 5

Summary

California yellowtail is predominantly caught incidentally in the white seabass fishery and landings have increased in recent years, from averaging around 2 mt/yr between 2008 and 2013, to 25 mt in 2015. Exports are negligible. Stock status of California yellowtail is unknown, but the species is not considered highly vulnerable and there are no bycatch concerns. Management conservation measures area considered moderately effective, however, there is no management plan specific for yellowtail. Habitat impacts are minimal and while no spatial management or other policies to protect ecosystem functioning are currently in place, a multi-species, ecosystem-based management approach is in development.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Greater amberjack

Seriola dumerili

Method

Wild

Diver

Location

US Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

2.9 / 5

Summary

Although the Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack stock is overfished, the diver (spear) fishery has low levels of associated bycatch and limited contact with bottom substrates, preserving the habitat. Greater amberjack is not reported as an imported or exported species in the U.S.

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Variety

California yellowtail

Seriola lalandi

Method

Wild

Bottom gillnet, Drift gillnet

Location

California

Overall Rating

2.3-2.4 / 5

Summary

California yellowtail is predominantly caught incidentally in the white seabass fishery and landings have increased in recent years, from averaging around 2 mt/yr between 2008 and 2013, to 25 mt in 2015. Exports are negligible. Stock status of California yellowtail is unknown, but the species is not considered highly vulnerable. However, bycatch in the net fisheries is a high concern, with risk to endangered humpback whales and vulnerable white sharks. Management conservation measures area considered moderately effective, however, there is no management plan specific for yellowtail. Habitat impacts are minimal and while no spatial management or other policies to protect ecosystem functioning are currently in place, a multi-species, ecosystem-based management approach is in development.

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Variety

Hamachi, Yellowtail, kingfish, amberjack

Seriola spp.

Method

Farmed

Open net pen

Location

Japan

Overall Rating

1.1 / 10

Summary

Japan is the main producer of yellowtail imported into the US. In 2013, 5,572mt were exported from Japan to the US. Yellowtail is mainly used in sushi and sashimi, and Japan produces 99% of the commercially reported yellowtail in the world. The effluent released from the open net pens is of concern due to the high levels of waste discharged, and lack of regulations. High levels of antibiotics are used widely. These include antibiotics that are highly or critically important to human health according to the World Health Organization. There is strong evidence showing antibiotic resistance in bacteria around the aquaculture sites in Japan. This is a serious concern for the environment as well as human health. The aquaculture operation requires about 6-10lbs of wild fish feed to produce 1lb of yellowtail, which puts fishing pressure on wild fish populations. Although fish are vaccinated, parasitic and bacterial pathogens cause regular outbreaks of disease. The aquaculture operation relies on wild yellowtail populations as a source of broodstock, therefore contributing to the fishing pressure on wild yellowtail.

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Variety

Greater amberjack

Seriola dumerili

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

US South Atlantic

Overall Rating

N/A / 5

Summary

Kampachi raised in submersible net pens in Hawaii is a sustainable alternative.

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Variety

Greater amberjack

Seriola dumerili

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

US Gulf of Mexico, US Southeast Atlantic

Overall Rating

2.7 / 5

Summary

Greater amberjack is found globally in tropical and temperate oceans including the east coast of the Unites States, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean.  In the Southeast Atlantic, both the handline and diver fisheries capture species that are overfished such as hogfish, red snapper, gray trigger fish, and red porgy. While in the Gulf of Mexico, the handline fishery is associated with bycatch of species of concern such as the warsaw grouper and the red snapper.

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Variety

California yellowtail

Seriola lalandi

Method

Wild

Drift gillnet, Handline, Pole, Set net, Troll

Location

Mexico - Eastern Central Pacific Ocean; Gulf of California

Overall Rating

1.6-2.7 / 5

Summary

California Yellowtail from Mexico is caught year round, with most landings between May and June. The vast majority of landings come from the state of Baja California Sur, producing 2,900 t in 2017 with all the other states in the northwest combined producing a total 850 t. Exports are believed to be small, however no precise data are available.

Yellowtail caught by encircling nets, handlines & pole and line, set gillnets, drift gillnets and trolling are all Not Recommended, primarily due to an ineffective management strategy. Management of yellowtail is minimal, with no quota limits, minimum size limits or closed seasons. Management improvements were recommended in 2010, but there is no evidence that they have been implemented and it is likely that the fishery is impacting the yellowtail population. Abundance and fishing mortality for yellowtail is unknown, with no stock assessments for the species available, though it is not highly vulnerable.  Set gillnets and drift gillnets also present high risk of entanglement for sea turtles, mammals and sharks, as well as giant seabass, a critically endangered species. The other gear types, however, have no bycatch impacts.

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