Studies of the growth and mortality of school prawns
NSW Department Of Primary Industries Orange
Considering the prominence of the NSW prawn resources, it is important that managers be equipped with the information necessary to manage the school prawn resource in a sustainable way that provides equity for all stakeholders. Despite its prominence as one of the two most important contributors to the prawn production in NSW, little is known about the population dynamics of this species. There is evidence to suggest that the school prawn populations in NSW may be overfished. Available information shows that the size of spawning populations in ocean waters may be declining and that prawns are being caught at sizes far shorter than those that would optimise biological “yield per recruit” under an F0.1 fishing policy. The data which was used in this population modeling of the species had relatively low levels of precision. Estimates of growth and mortality with acceptable levels of precision are needed so that population models can be used with confidence to predict the outcomes of scenarios aimed at optimising the use of the school prawn resource. Out of a list of ten topics needing research, attendees at the Juvenile Prawn Summit assigned the highest priority for research to the study of growth and mortality of school prawns.
1. To estimate values for parameters describing growth of school prawns.
2. To estimate values for instantaneous fishing mortality for school prawns.
Principal Investigator: S.S. Montgomery, C.T. Walsh, C.L. Kesby and D.D. Johnson
Key Words: growth, mortality, school prawn, length frequency analyses, tag-recapture, New South Wales