(Coryphaena hippurus)

Dolphinfish, Mahi mahi, Dolfynvis

This species is under revision for all fishing methods indicated below

1. What is it?

Dorado (Coryphaena hippurus) are fast-growing, widely distributed fish that display nomadic movement behaviour. This makes them fairly resilient to high fishing pressures Stock levels in Eastern Pacific Ocean are uncertain with some indications that it is not overfished.

2. How was it caught or farmed?


Dorado is caught using the rod-and-reel or handline method of the traditional linefish sector. Linefishing does not harm the surrounding habitat and bycatch of vulnerable, overfished or endangered species is minimal as this type of fishing methods is selective.

Pelagic longline

Dorado mainly caught as bycatch in the South African pelagic longline fishery for tuna and swordfish. Pelagic longlines consists of a double-line system suspended at different depths covered in baited hooks and which are several kilometers long. Bycatches are a significant issue in the fishery. There are bycatches of seabirds, fish, sharks and turtles, many of which are listed as vulnerable and the fishing pressure may affect their population rates significantly. While recent reports showed that observed bycatch and discard rates in the tuna sector is low, little is known regarding bycatch and discard rates in the swordfish sector.

Imported - pelagic longline

Dorado is mainly caught using pelagic longlines. Pelagic longlines consist of a double-line system suspended at different depths covered in baited hooks and which are several kilometers long. Catches of endangered, threatened or vulnerable seabirds, fish, sharks and turtles are considered to be a significant issue. Bycatch for this fishery appears to be low as well as catches of juvenile dorado. Discard rate and survival of discards is unknown. The fishery is likely to impact the ecosystem negatively due to the removal of key species. There is no impact on benthic habitats.

3. Where is it from?


Dorado is caught all along the coast of South Africa. Management is considered partly effective through the use of a total allowable effort (TAE) limitation. There is some concern over the impact of the small-scale fishery rights allocation beyond the recommended TAE and the continuously growing recreational sector.

Pelagic longline

Dorado are found all along the coast of southern Africa. Management in this fishery is considered only partly effective largely due to insufficient monitoring of impacts to threatened species and a comprehensive plan to manage these impacts. In particular, the sector still permits directed shark fishing through various permit exemptions although intentions have been made to phase this out.

Imported - pelagic longline

Dorado is a cosmopolitan fish found throughout the Eastern Pacific Ocean and imported into South Africa. As Dorado are often caught alongside tuna, it is managed as part of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). Data collected is not always accurate and IUU fishing still takes place due to poor levels of enforcement. Parts of the fishery in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador are taking part in Fishery Improvement Projects, aiming to improve monitoring and reduce bycatch of ETP species. However, management overall, is considered to be marginally effective.