TilefishGolden tilefish


  • Latin name: 
    Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps
  • Seafood type: Tilefish
  • Harvest method: Bottom longline, Handline
  • Region: Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico
  • Wild/Farmed: 
Not Recommended

Golden tilefish

(Source: Duane Rivers)
Sustainable alternatives: 
Pacific halibut and Alaska pollock are sustainable seafood options.
Sustainability concerns: 
This slow-growing species is overfished. There are limited management measures to replenish the stock.
Golden tilefish have been commercially fished since 1879. Fishing effort increased dramatically in the 1970’s and by the mid 1970’s, fewer, and smaller sized individuals were being caught.
Life History and Population Status: 
Although golden tilefish reproduce several times a year, reproductive output has been decreasing due to the overfishing of the larger and older individuals. Overfishing is facilitated by the fact that the species is sedentary, making it easy for fishermen to catch several individuals over a small habitat range. Additionally, the fish are slow to mature, having only reached 50% maturity by age 5-7. Stock status varies by region. In the mid-Atlantic, the stocks are not overfished. However, there is a moderate level of uncertainty concerning the status of south Atlantic stocks, and the stock in the Gulf of Mexico is overfished.
There is limited data available on the stocks from the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. No stock assessments have been conducted, and as a result the status of the fishery is unknown. More research is needed.
Impact on Other Species: 
The use of bottom longlines and handlines has minimal effects on other species in the habitat. Impact on other species is low.
Habitat and Ecosystem Impacts: 
The golden tilefish digs burrows in the substrate which help to shape the ecosystem and contribute to biodiversity. Removal of the golden tilefish from the ecosystem could negatively affect other species through a decrease in burrows.


  • No or little concern in this area.
  • Significant concern in this area.
  • Area under study.