Girella elevata Click to enlarge image
A Rock Blackfish at a depth of 8 m, Bermagui, NSW, April 2005. Image: Sascha Schulz
© Sascha Schulz

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    elevata
    Genus
    Girella
    Family
    Girellidae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 60 cm in length and a weight of 7kg.

Introduction

Adult Rock Blackfish are uniformly blue-black. The species grows to about 60 cm in length and a weight of 7kg.



Identification

Juvenile Rock Blackfish are generally a dark-brown colour. Adults are uniformly blue-black.

Habitat

Juvenile Rock Blackfish are found in rockpools, estuaries and shallow rocky reef areas. Adults prefer exposed rocky reef areas from the surf zone to depths of around 25 m. Divers often see this species in caves or under ledges.


Girella elevata
A juvenile Rock Blackfish in a rockpool,Wollongong, NSW, January 2006. Image: S. Schulz
© S. Schulz

Distribution

In Australia, it occurs from southern Queensland to north-eastern Tasmania, plus Lord Howe Island. It is also recorded from New Zealand.

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

This fish is a popular angling species. It is valued for its fighting ability and eating qualities.

References

  1. Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F., C.J.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. 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.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.