Bigeye Ocean Perch, Helicolenus barathri Click to enlarge image
A Bigeye Ocean Perch caught by K. Graham on FRV Kapala (K 85-06-01) at a depth of about 500m, off Kiama, New South Wales, May 1985. Image: Ken Graham
© Ken Graham/NSW DPI

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    barathri
    Genus
    Helicolenus
    Family
    Sebastidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to at least 40 cm in length.

Introduction

The Bigeye Ocean Perch lives in deep sea levels, on flat, hard seabeds in upper continental slope waters

Identification

The Bigeye Ocean Perch has a large mouth, large eyes and a long-based dorsal fin. It is overall pinkish-red in colour with poorly defined brown bars on the body and greenish flecks on the scales.

Two species of Helicolenus occur off the New South Wales coast. The second species, the Reef Ocean Perch Helicolenus Percoides is a smaller fish that grows to about 30 cm and lives in shallower water (80 m to 350 m). It is more orange in colour, has small dark spots on the head and darker bars on the body.

Habitat

The Bigeye Ocean Perch is a demersal species that lives on flat, hard seabeds in upper continental slope waters at depths between 250 m and 800 m.

Distribution

It occurs in Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia it is found from off southern New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Great Australian Bight off South Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



Economic impacts

Both the Helicolenus barathri and Helicolenus Percoides species, are important commercial fishes around south-eastern Australia.

References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. in Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Last, P.R., E.O.G. Scott & F.H. Talbot. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority. Pp. 563. (as Helicolenus papillosus ).