April 2018 Competitive Round Call for Expressions of Interest Closing date for applications 15th June, 2018 ×

Title:

Informing inter-jurisdictional snapper management in eastern Australia

Project Number:

2015-216

Organisation:

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD)

Principal Investigator:

Wayne Sumpton

Project Status:

Current

FRDC Expenditure:

$315,000.00

Program(s):

Adoption, Environment, Industry

Historic snapper catch information from Qld and NSW

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Snapper has been fished since the early development of the colony around Sydney Harbour in the late 18th century, but it was the arrival of steam power in the 1860’s that enabled fishers to start regularly targeting the abundant schools of snapper occurring in the deep-water fishing grounds outside of the sheltered bays and estuaries along the east coast of Australia.  This article covers some of the history.

East coast snapper genetic stock structure

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Recent genetic research carried out as part of the present project has shown there are two regions of genetically different snapper off the Australian east coast, where it was previously believed all snapper were part of a single genetic stock. This article shows new information indicates there is one broad region of genetic similarity from the top of the species’ range in north Queensland extending into southern New South Wales (now referred to as the ‘northern’ genetic stock – coloured blue) and a second, genetically different region is found from southern New South Wales south to Victoria and Tasmania (‘southern’ genetic stock).

Summary of data available for the inter-jurisdictional snapper project

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Summary of data available for the inter-jurisdictional snapper project. Abbreviations - Comm (Commercial), Rec (Recreational), Chart (Charter), BRUVS (Baited Remote Underwater Video Sampling) ANSA (Australian National Sportfishing Association), FIS (Fishery Independent surveys) “+” after years signifies ongoing program of data collection with no set end date.

Summary of dataavailable for the inter-jurisdictional snapper project. Abbreviations - Comm(Commercial), Rec (Recreational), Chart (Charter), BRUVS (Baited RemoteUnderwater Video Sampling) ANSA (Australian National Sportfishing Association),FIS (Fishery Independent surveys) “+” after years signifies ongoing program ofdata collection with no set end date.

 

Catch

Effort

Length

Age

Biological

Other

Qld Comm and Chart (1988+) Daily

Qld Comm and Chart (1988+) Daily

Comm line fishery dependent samples (1993 to 1996, 2006+)

Comm line fishery dependent samples (1993 to 1996, 2006+)

Qld Comprehensive Growth, Spawning, Maturity, Fecundity data (Fine spatial resolution possible)

Qld beam trawl structured fishery independent sampling Nov and Dec (2006+)

NSW Comm, and Chart (1952+) Monthly earlier on - Daily from 1998

NSW Comm, and Chart (1984+) Monthly earlier on - Daily from 1998

Qld Rec and Chart (2006+)

Qld Rec and Chart (2006+)

NSW Comprehensive Growth, Spawning, Maturity, Fecundity data (Fine spatial resolution possible)

Qld, NSW & Vic ANSA Tagging data (Growth and movement data (1970’s+)

Vic Comm and Chart (1978+) Limited for eastern stock

Vic Comm and Chart (1978+) Limited for eastern stock

NSW trap and line fishery 1994+ (some missing years)

NSW trap and line fishery 1994+ (some missing years)

Vic No biological data available for eastern stock but considerable biological data available for western stock

Vic Research tagging data 1970’s

Qld, NSW & Vic Statewide Rec estimates for all three jurisdictions (1990’s+) 6 x Queensland, 2 x NSW and 2 x Vic

Qld, NSW & Vic statewide Rec estimates possible to derive for all three jurisdictions (1990’s+)

NSW Charter (2000+)

NSW No recreational age data. Can be inferred from length data?

 

Qld & NSW BRUVS data (limited spatial and temporal coverage)

Qld Fish Board catches (1938 to 1980)

Limited effort data for South east trawl fishery due to non-target species status of snapper

NSW Rec 2 time periods (1993 to 1995 and 2001 to 2003)

Vic Limited sporadic Comm age data during 1990’s

 

Qld, NSW Research FIS surveys using traps and beam trawl (Very limited spatial and temporal coverage

Vic South East trawl catches from Commonwealth Danish seine fishery

Qld, NSW & Vic Recreational Motor vessel registrations for (1984+). Varying quality

Vic Limited sporadic Comm length data during 1990’s

 

 

Qld, NSW and Vic. Historic catches from Newspapers and other historic documents 1880 to 1950’s (Ruth Thurston)

Qld, NSW & Vic Personal logs of fishers (1950’s+)

Qld, NSW and Vic Aerial surveillance estimates of fishing effort. Point estimates available for few select years.

Qld Fisheries Observer data (2004 to 2012)

 

 

Qld data on adoption of fishing technology (Used for standardizing catch). Comm and Rec only

 

Qld, NSW & VicRecreational Fishing Club data

(early 1900’s+)

 

Impact of advances in fishing technology on the snapper fishery

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Increasing fishing power is a feature of virtually all fisheries around the world.  It is caused by improvements in fishing technologies making it easier to catch fish nowadays compared with earlier times (if stock biomass had not changed over time).  It is common scientific practise for stock assessments to take into account the effect that these changes have had over time.

Objectives

1. Apply the latest cost-effective microsatellite genetic techniques to clarify and refine understanding of snapper stock structure along Australia’s east coast.

2. Assemble and harmonise all available data sets and information sources, including archival and fisher knowledge data, and develop a mechanism for stakeholder feedback on this resource.

3. Develop computer models for the east-coast snapper population that inform on inter-jurisdictional management strategies.

4. Develop protocols for inter-jurisdictional decision-making processes and stakeholder engagement.