Bigeye Ocean Perch, Helicolenus barathri (Hector, 1875)
Prior to the Australian standard name ‘Bigeye Ocean Perch’ being adopted, this species had also been called Coral Perch, Ocean Perch, Red Gurnard Perch, Red Perch, Red Rock Perch and Sea Perch.
The Bigeye Ocean Perch lives in deep sea levels, on flat, hard seabeds in upper continental slope waters
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.
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.
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.
Both the Helicolenus barathri and Helicolenus Percoides species, are important commercial fishes around south-eastern Australia.
- 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.
- Last, P.R., E.O.G. Scott & F.H. Talbot. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority. Pp. 563. (as Helicolenus papillosus ).