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A chunky, predatory fish with a huge mouth and a grumpy expression, wreckfish, or stone bass, is a huge deep sea fish which is occasionally landed by Cornish fishermen. 

It can be confused with farmed meagre (a large bass like fish) that is aquacultured in Portugal, Greece and Turkey and marketed as 'stone bass'. 

Sustainability Overview

This is a highly valuable, slow growing species that is vulnerable to over fishing and is classed as near threatened by ICUN. Catches to Cornish ports are low and sporadic but there is no management for this species and a lack of data making it hard to say that this species is sustainable.  They are caught using baited hooks – longlines or hand lines and juveniles  can be found beneath floating debris out in the open sea so is usually caught as a bonus when deep sea netters and potters chance upon them. 

In 2021 only 9kg of wreckfish were landed to cornish ports (MMO data).

Sustainability ratings for this species

Hook and line

South West of Cornwall

Occasionally caught using baited hooks attached to bouy rope of off shore set gill nets.

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How we rate fish

Cornwall Good Seafood Guide rates fish on sustainability using a scale of 1 to 5.

1, 2 and 3 are recommended, Fish to avoid are rated 5.

We use the system devised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) so our scores are comparable with the scores produced by MCS for the UK and fisheries from all around the world. For more information on scoring click here.


This is a long lived, large mouthed, predatory species growing up to a maximum size of 2.1 meters in length and is very slow growing. They do not reach maturity until they are 90 cm in length which takes many years.  It has a high vulnerability to fishing (72% fishbase) 
Since the species lives deep and offshore, there may well be stocks of wreckfish that have been little reported or yet to be discovered. The real possibility of unknown stocks of unknown size makes it very difficult to estimate stock levels. 

Stock Info

This species is classed as data deficient by ICES. And classed as near threatened by ICUN, very little is known about this stock. Landings in Cornwall hit a large peak of 2-4 tonnes each year from 2007-2010, but soon returned to very low levels of less than half a tonne.



No minimum landing size or quota (catch limit).

Capture Info

Caught using baited hooks attached to the bouy ropes of offshore gill nets and occasionally also caught in set gill nets.


ICUN Red list 


Where to buy

Find and buy Cornish Seafood

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