Ribaldo has mild flavoured, moist flesh and few bones. It can be prepared in many ways, and the flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles.
Scientific name: Mora moro
Other names: Googly-eyed cod, ghost cod, deepsea cod, common mora, morid cod, giant cod
Description: Ribaldo have grey to pink backs, fading to a white belly. The body is flecked with brown. The eyes are relatively large. The anal fin originates near the midlength of the body and sometimes appears as two anal fins because it is deeply indented.
Size (length and weight): Commonly 40‑70 cm in length and 1.5‑5 kg. Females grow larger than males.
Life span: Up to at least 30 years.
Habitat: Ribaldo are a temperate deepwater species that occurs on the continental shelf. They can be found near the seafloor at depths of 450‑2500 metres and it appears to be most common at depths of 500‑1000 metres. Ribaldo are associated with sea mounts and rough sea beds. Juveniles may be pelagic.
Prey: Fishes, crustaceans, molluscs and other invertebrates.
Reproduction: Female ribaldo reach reproductive maturity at about 14 years of age, with most males maturing by about 8 years of age. Spawning occurs in winter and early spring. Ribaldo are not thought to form large spawning aggregations.
|Fishery found in||Gear used||Catch of this species is targeted or incidental|
|Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery – Gillnet Hook and Trap Sector||Bottom droplining and longlining||Incidental|
|Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery – South East Trawl Sector||Bottom trawl||Incidental|
|Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery – Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector||Bottom trawl||Incidental|
Management of catch
The Commonwealth catch of ribaldo around the south east of Australia is managed by catch quotas, meaning that the catch of this fish by commercial fishers is monitored by weight.
Commercial fishermen are required to fill in records of their catches, during each fishing trip and when they land their catch in a port. This helps us keep records of how much is being caught.
AFMA decide on the amount that can be caught each season using expert advice and recommendations from fisheries managers, industry members, scientist and researchers.
Ribaldo are caught in the deepwater areas of the Southeast and Southern Shark Fishery. The species is caught as bycatch by droplining, longlining, and trawling methods of fishing. Over 50 per cent of ribaldo catch is caught by trawl.
Fishing gear and environmental impacts
AFMA carries out ecological risk assessments for all of its major fisheries which assess the impact of fishing on bycatch species and habitats. AFMA reduces any impacts through a number of management arrangements and strategies detailed in its ecological risk management strategy.
These assessments indicate that fishing for the eastern stock of Australian sardine is highly selective and has low rates of bycatch.
However there are measures in place to minimise impacts on threatened endangered and protected species including compulsory seal excluder devices for midwater trawl nets and vessel management plans that include measures specific to the operations of individual boats to minimise interactions with seabirds and threatened, endangered and protected species, such as seals and dolphins.
Bottom (demersal) trawl
Sometimes, bottom trawling can catch unwanted species of fish (not the type of fish the net was supposed to catch). This is known as bycatch and it is monitored by on-board fishery observers who assess the environmental impact of the trawling.
Although it is not physically possible to trawl on reef structures, significant long-term damage can occur if sensitive habitat areas like corals, sponges and seagrass beds are trawled. To ensure these sensitive habitat areas are protected from trawling, management arrangements such as area closures are extensively used.
Droplining and Longlining
Bottom set longline and dropling fishing causes very little damage to the seafloor and has only a very limited level of bycatch. Gear can become snagged on the bottom and get broken off, although this is not a common occurrence.