Gemfish: Quick Facts

Scientific name: Rexea solandri

Other names: maha-taharaki, maka-tikati, tiikati (Maori), silver kingfish, southern kingfish, silver gemfish (US), kagokamasu, ginsawara, shirosawara (Japan).

Ranking: E (Red - Worst Choice)

Best Fish Guide: Gemfish

 Ranking: E (Red - Worst Choice)

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Alternative Choice: Kingfish

Description: This relatively long-lived slender fish is found within a wide depth range of between 50 and 550m, but is sometimes found as deep as 800m. They are usually caught in inshore to middle-depth waters by trawling.

Ecological concerns: A significant level of habitat and therefore ecological damage is caused by bottom trawling and a range of fish are caught as bycatch. New Zealand fur seal and sea bird bycatch is also associated with fisheries in which gemfish is caught as bycatch. Annual catches and catch rates have declined dramatically since peaking at over 8,000 tonnes in 1985–86 due to over-fishing combined with low recruitment, poor state of the stocks (about 22% of the original, unfished stock size) and annual landings being in the hundreds of tonnes during the last two years. There is also no management plan for this species.

Economic value: Exports of $2 million in 2008 mainly to Japan.



Biology and risk of overfishing (score D)
Status and sustainability of fish catches (score D)
Impact of fishing method and protected, threatened and endangered species captures (score E and D)
Management and management unit (score C and B)

For a full ecological assessment click here