Miscellaneous Fisheries

​​Chapter 2: Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery

N Marton and D Mobsby

FIGURE 2.1 Area and relative fishing intensity in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, 2016
Note: The King Island New bed was initially closed under formal arrangements, and the King Island Blue Dot bed was closed under voluntary arrangements pending a survey of the bed. Following the King Island Blue Dot survey, the King Island Blue Dot bed was closed under formal arrangements, and the King Island New bed was opened on 7 October 2016.
TABLE 2.1: Status of the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery
Status
Biological status
2015
Fishing mortality
2015
Biomass
2016
Fishing mortality
2016
Biomass
Comments
Commercial scallop
(Pecten fumatus)
UncertainUncertainNot subject to overfishingNot overfishedLarge, stable biomass identified in western Bass Strait. Total allowable catch and catch small relative to known biomass.

Economic status

NER are likely to have improved since 2010–11 (the last available survey year) when real NER were –$1.1 million. GVP in the 2015–16 financial year is estimated to be $4.6 million, around $1.3 million higher than the GVP in 2010–11. Higher catch per dredge-hour and scallop prices, along with lower fuel prices and management costs, are likely to have improved NER in 2015–16 compared with 2010–11, although it is uncertain whether NER are now positive.

Notes: GVP Gross value of production. NER Net economic returns.

[expand all]

2.1 Description of the fishery

Area fished

The Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZSF) operates in the central area of Bass Strait between the Victorian and Tasmanian scallop fisheries (Figure 2.1). In 2016, fishing was permitted throughout the management area, except in two scallop beds (Figure 2.1). Fishing was concentrated on beds east of King Island. This was a similar area to that fished in 2014 and 2015.

Fishing methods and key species

The fishery is a single-species fishery targeting dense aggregations (‘beds') of commercial scallop (Pecten fumatus)using scallop dredges.

Management methods

The fishery is managed through a range of input controls (seasonal and area closures) and output controls (total allowable catch [TAC]), together with quota statutory fishing rights and individual transferable quota controls. A TAC of 100 t also exists for doughboy scallops (Chlamys asperrima). However, except in 2003, this species is either not retained or only retained in very small amounts, because there is no market for it.

Following a three-year closure under the 2005 Ministerial Direction, the fishery reopened in 2009 under a formal harvest strategy (AFMA 2007), which was updated for the 2012 season (AFMA 2012a). The harvest strategy was substantially revised for the 2014 season (AFMA 2014) and updated in 2015 for clarity (AFMA 2015).

Management methods have changed considerably since the fishery reopened in 2009. The changes include a reduction in the scallop size limit used in the harvest strategy to define a bed as ‘commercially viable'; a shift from ‘most area closed, little area open' to ‘most area open, little area closed' (2014); and consideration of scallop density in determining which areas to open and close (2014).

The current harvest strategy (first developed for the 2014 season) uses a tiered management approach, whereby a 150 t TAC can initially be set as a ‘default opening', covering the whole BSCZSF management area, to allow operators to search widely for scallop beds (AFMA 2015). The revisions to the harvest strategy in 2014 in part aimed to increase knowledge of the biomass by encouraging exploratory fishing outside known beds. However, in 2015 and 2016, the exploratory period was skipped altogether in favour of returning to survey the known King Island beds.

Tier 1 of the harvest strategy states that, if the scientific survey identifies one or more scallop beds with a combined biomass of 1,500 t or more, with scallops greater than 85 mm in length and in ‘high' density, and those beds are closed to commercial fishing, the TAC can be increased to 1,000 t. If 800 t of this TAC is taken, the TAC can be increased to 1,500 t; it can be increased again to 2,000 t if 1,300 t is taken.

Tier 2 of the harvest strategy states that, if the scientific survey identifies one or more scallop beds with a combined biomass of 3,000 t or more, and those beds are closed to commercial fishing, the TAC can be initially set to at least 2,000 t.

The 2016 fishery operated under tier 2 of the harvest strategy, with a starting TAC of 3,000 t; the TAC could be increased to a maximum of 5,000 t, based on catches during the season.

Fishing effort

The fishery has a history of boom and bust, with the peaks (1982–83, 1994–96, 2003 and 2016) generally becoming progressively smaller, interspersed with fishery-wide closures, the most recent being from 2006 to 2008 (Figure 2.2). At its peak in 1995, 103 vessels operated in the fishery.

The fishery reopened in 2009 with 26 active vessels. The number of active vessels decreased before stabilising at 11–12 vessels (12 in 2016). Despite a decrease in the number of active vessels, dredge-hours increased in 2010 to 4,853—the highest level since 2003; dredge-hours roughly halved each year for the subsequent three years, to a low of 656 in 2013—the lowest level since 2002. Since 2013, dredge-hours have increased each year, to 6,894 in 2016—the highest since 1998 when there were 38 active vessels in the fishery.

TABLE 2.2: Main features and statistics for the BSCZSF
Fishery statistics a2015 fishing season b2015 fishing season b2015 fishing season b2016 fishing season c2016 fishing season c2016 fishing season c
Stock TAC
(t)
Catch
(t)
Real value
(2014–15)
TAC
(t)
Catch
(t)
Real value
(2015–16)
Commercial scallop2,500
(+36) d
2,260$2.8 million3,000
(+60) d
2,885$4.6 million
Doughboy scallop1000.2na1000.3na
Total fishery 2,636 2,260 $2.8 million 3,160 2,885 $4.6 million

Fishery-level statistics2015 fishing season b2016 fishing season c
Effort4,116 hours dredged6,894 hours dredged
Fishing permits6562
Active vessels1112
Observer coverage0 days0 days
Fishing methodsScallop dredgeScallop dredge
Primary landing portsApollo Bay and Queenscliff (Victoria); Devonport and Stanley (Tasmania)Apollo Bay and Queenscliff (Victoria); Devonport and Stanley (Tasmania)
Management methodsInput controls: seasonal and area closures
Output controls: TAC, quota SFRs with ITQs
Input controls: seasonal and area closures
Output controls: TAC, quota SFRs with ITQs
Primary marketsDomestic: freshDomestic: fresh
Management planBass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Plan 2002 (amended 2014)Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Plan 2002 (amended 2014)

a Fishery statistics are provided by fishing season, unless otherwise indicated. Real-value statistics are by financial year and are in 2015–16 dollars. b Fishing season was 8 July to 31 December 2015. c Fishing season was 22 July to 31 December 2016. d A research quota also exists for commercial scallop (42 t in 2015 and 60 t in 2016).
Notes: ITQ Individual transferable quota. na Not available. SFR Statutory fishing right. TAC Total allowable catch.

2.2 Biological status

Commercial scallop (Pecten fumatus)

Commercial scallop (Pecten fumatus) 

Line drawing: FAO

Stock structure

Scallops in the Commonwealth, Tasmanian and Victorian scallop fisheries form one genetically homogeneous population (Semmens et al. 2015) but are managed separately. Additionally, distinct genetic links have been identified between some beds, but not others, most likely due to non-random dispersal and subsequent settlement of larvae, meaning that recruitment does not occur in a simple, predictable manner (Semmens et al. 2015).

Catch history

A fishery for commercial scallops has operated in central Bass Strait since 1973 (Young & Martin 1989). The fishery is spatially structured, with the fleet tending to congregate on one or two known beds for the season. These may be revisited for several seasons until the bed is depleted or the fleet moves to more favourable beds, either within the same area or in an entirely different area. In this way, the fishery has moved back and forth between beds in eastern and western Bass Strait several times over its history. Catch in the fishery peaked in 1982 (21,000 t) and 1983 (24,000 t), landed by an unknown number of vessels. The next peaks were in 1994 (8,100 t landed by 73 vessels) and 1995 (7,700 t landed by 103 vessels).

The fishery reopened in 2009, following a three-year closure under Ministerial Direction. Operators initially focused on beds north-east of Flinders Island in eastern Bass Strait, before moving to beds east of King Island in western Bass Strait in 2014. The fishery remained there for the following seasons.

In the early years after reopening, the fishery suffered from poor scallop conditions, with die-off events in 2010 (AFMA 2011) and 2011 (AFMA 2012b). In 2012, scallops were reported to be in poor condition in part of the fishery (and, conversely, in good quality in another area later in the season; DPIPWE 2012). An outbreak of paralytic shellfish toxin was detected in 2013. Management responded by increasing open areas, reducing size limits and changing season start dates. However, total landed catch declined between 2009 and 2013, and so the fishery moved to beds around King Island.

Catch, catch rates (both catch per hour and catch per shot) and scallop quality have all improved since the fishery moved to the King Island region. Three main beds were fished around King Island in 2014; this expanded to five in 2015 and eight in 2016.

The harvest strategy encourages exploratory fishing. While this exploratory fishing period has only been used in 2014, logbook records in both 2015 and 2016 provide some evidence of exploratory fishing around King Island during the main season (that is, outside the formal exploratory fishing period).

The King Island region had not been fished since at least 1998, and unfortunately biomass surveys were not completed for the region before fishing recommenced in 2014. However, a survey in 2015 identified three beds with a total combined biomass of ‘adults' (shell length greater than 85 mm) of 9,300 t (Knuckey et al. 2015), and a 2016 survey identified eight beds with a combined biomass of 22,090 t of adult scallops (Knuckey et al. 2016). Surveys in 2017 revisited four of the known King Island beds and estimated biomass in those beds at 16,200 t (Knuckey et al. 2017). The 2017 survey found an additional region with four scallop beds (‘Apollo Bay') with an estimated adult biomass of 5,460 t. It also revisited the two Flinders Island beds surveyed in 2016, together with two adjacent beds. The Flinders Island beds have not been commercially fished since 2014, and it appears there has been considerable mortality in these beds, with survey results estimating an adult biomass of only 1,090 t. In comparison, combined biomass estimates for beds in the Flinders Island region were 3,800 t in 2016 (Knuckey et al. 2016) and have been as high as 10,100 t in 2012 (Semmens 2012).

The 2016 fishery opened on 22 July 2016 with a starting TAC of 3,000 t. Fishing generally focused on the same areas as the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and operators reported scallops in good condition. An option existed for the TAC to be increased to a maximum of 5,000 t, based on landed catch and in consultation with industry; however, the catch level to trigger the TAC increase was not reached in the required time frame. The fishery closed on 31 December 2016 with 2,885 t landed.

FIGURE 2.2 Catch and TAC of commercial scallop in the BSCZSF, 1977 to 2016
Notes: TAC Total allowable catch. Catches before the establishment of the BSCZSF in 1986 are likely to include some catch from outside the central zone.
Source: Australian Fisheries Management Authority catch disposal records; Sahlqvist 2005
Stock assessment

No quantitative, model-based stock assessment is available for the BSCZSF; the current harvest strategy is dependent on industry-based surveys (discussed below).

Recruitment of commercial scallops in Bass Strait (Young et al. 1992) and elsewhere (for example, Port Phillip Bay; Coleman 1998) has been historically variable, and this variability appears to continue. Surveys of eastern Bass Strait in 2009 identified large numbers of small scallops north-east of Flinders Island (Harrington & Semmens 2010). Surveys in 2015, 2016 and 2017 likewise identified small scallops adjacent to Flinders Island (Knuckey et al. 2015, 2016, 2017). Beds in western Bass Strait have typically comprised large scallops with only limited amounts of small scallops. While the presence of small scallops in eastern Bass Strait is an encouraging sign for the fishery, they were found in far larger amounts during the 2009 survey.

Surveys between 2009 and 2017 have covered a large area, encompassing approximately 60 per cent of the 6 by 8 nautical mile fishing grids that comprised the total historical baseline of grids fished since 1991.1 However, because of die-off events such as those observed in 2010 and 2011, the reliability of earlier surveyed biomass estimates decreases rapidly with time, even for unfished beds. Recently, repeated surveys of some beds have shown consistent biomass estimates between years, suggesting that, at least in these surveyed areas, biomass has been stable.

Surveys in 2017 covered about 8 per cent of the grids from the historical baseline area. However, adult biomass from these surveyed beds was estimated at almost 22,800 t, the second largest estimated biomass since the fishery reopened in 2009 (surveyed beds in 2016 had an estimated biomass of almost 26,000 t). By their nature, surveys target areas where scallop beds are expected to be found at a particular time, so these biomass estimates cannot be extrapolated to the whole of the historical fishing area.

Since the re-emergence of scallop beds in western Bass Strait, surveys have covered a broader area (both eastern and western Bass Strait) and more beds: 2 in 2014, 4 in 2015, 10 in 2016 and 12 in 2017. The harvest strategy appears at present to be effective in providing information on the biomass across a range of locations in both eastern and western Bass Strait. However, the extent of survey effort has in the past been influenced by the nature of the fishing season—for example, poor fishing seasons generally result in limited surveying and poorer information.

Stock status determination

A weight-of-evidence approach is used to determine stock status. Considering the 2010 and 2011 die-offs, declining biomass in 2017 around Flinders Island, and the re-emergence of the beds in western Bass Strait, it is clear that the scallop biomass continues to show much variability. Even with the current harvest strategy and independent of fishing, it is possible that biomass will decline in future years due to other influences, such as environmental factors. However, at this stage, biomass of known beds appears substantial and stable.

Compared with previous surveys, a relatively large biomass of 26,000 t was surveyed in the BSCZSF in 2016 and 22,800 t in 2017, centred in the west. These estimates are comparable to the very large historical annual catches taken from the fishery at its peak (24,000 t in 1983), when the fleet was much larger and catches were unconstrained. Additionally, the escapement (the percentage of the known biomass not caught in a year) has been high in recent years for western Bass Strait (87 per cent in 2016 and 76 per cent in 2015). Since fishing has not occurred in eastern Bass Strait in these two years, escapement there was 100 per cent. As a result, the stock is classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing.

2.3 Economic status

Key economic trends

The most recent economic survey of the BSCZSF estimated that real net economic returns (NER), including management costs, were negative: –$1.2 million in 2009–10 and –$1.1 million in 2010–11 (2015–16 dollars; George et al. 2012). These results are comparable to those from the survey of the fishery for 1997–98 and 1998–99, when real NER were –$1.8 million and –$1.1 million, respectively (2015–16 dollars; Galeano et al. 2001).

Comparison of the fishery's gross value of production (GVP) before and after the most recent closure (2006 to 2008) reveals a considerable increase immediately following reopening of the fishery (Figure 2.3). Before the closure, GVP was $0.5 million in 2004–05 and $0.2 million in 2005–06 (2015–16 dollars). Since the fishery's reopening, higher GVPs of $1.4 million and $4.3 million were achieved in 2008–09 and 2009–10, respectively (noting that 2008–09 only captures the first month of the 2009 season). However, real GVP fell to $1.1 million in 2011–12 and $0.5 million in 2012–13. GVP has increased in 2014–15 and 2015–16. In 2015–16, GVP is estimated to be $4.6 million, the highest in real terms since 1997–98.

Several factors suggest that NER in the BSCZSF may have improved from the –$1.1 million recorded in 2010–11. Estimated GVP in 2015–16 is around $1.3 million higher than the GVP in 2010–11. In 2015–16, scallop prices were higher and fuel prices and management costs lower than in 2010–11.

FIGURE 2.3 Real GVP and real prices received for catch in the BSCZSF, by financial year, 2004–05 to 2015–16
Notes: GVP Gross value of production. Overlap between seasons and financial years should be taken into account in interpreting this figure. The fishery was closed between the 2006 and 2008 calendar years.

Management arrangements

The BSCZSF harvest strategy was first developed following the Australian Government's Securing our Fishing Future structural adjustment program in 2006, which removed 22 licences from the fishery. The harvest strategy was implemented in 2009, following three years (2006 to 2008) with a zero TAC. It was revised in 2012, but not directly applied for the 2012 and 2013 fishing seasons. Instead, a somewhat less precautionary approach to protecting juvenile scallops was taken in both seasons, with a commercially viable area being determined based on a reduced minimum size limit of 85 mm rather than the 90 mm limit previously used. The harvest strategy was reviewed again in 2014 in response to concerns about the cost-effectiveness of management and the flexibility of fishing operations in the fishery. The harvest strategy is described in detail under ‘Management methods'.

Performance against economic objective

The Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy: policy and guidelines (HSP; DAFF 2007) requires that harvest strategies pursue the economic objective of maximising NER. To meet this objective, the HSP recommends that harvest strategies should be designed to manage stock levels consistent with maximum economic yield (MEY), or, if MEY is unavailable, maximum sustainable yield (MSY). Negative NER in the BSCZSF in 2009–10 and 2010–11 suggest that the economic objective was not being met, and the historical pattern of depletion in the fishery suggests that fishing influences future stock levels.

The naturally sporadic and fluctuating availability of scallops in the BSCZSF makes it difficult to develop appropriate target reference points for MSY and MEY (AFMA 2015). The 2015 BSCZSF harvest strategy (AFMA 2015) recognises the difficulties associated with managing the fishery using a biomass target that is relative to virgin biomass. Within the context of ecological sustainability, maximising economic returns to the Australian community and economic, efficient management are objectives of the 2015 BSCZSF harvest strategy. A decline in management costs as a proportion of GVP suggests a movement towards more efficient management of the BSCZSF.

Since 2014, the harvest strategy has used a tiered approach to determining levels of access to the scallop resource, as described under ‘Management methods'. It takes a co-management approach and allows fishers some flexibility in where they apply their effort in the fishery. The fishery operated under the tiered harvest strategy for the first time in the 2014 fishing season.

Catch per dredge-hour in the 2015 fishing season (2015–16 financial year) was the second highest it has been since the fishery reopened in 2009 (Figure 2.4), allowing a given volume to be caught with lower inputs. Higher catch per dredge-hour and scallop prices, along with lower fuel prices and management costs, are likely to have improved NER in 2015–16 compared with 2010–11, although it is uncertain whether NER are now positive.

FIGURE 2.4 Catch per dredge-hour in the BSCZSF fishing season, 2001 to 2016

2.4 Environmental status

The BSCZSF has export approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 until October 2026. The accreditation was accompanied by several recommendations, including that the observer program be reviewed, that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) ensure improvements to the monitoring and analysis of bycatch and byproduct, and that issues identified in a (at the time) draft report examining stock structure of commercial scallop in Bass Strait be considered.

Haddon et al. (2006) suggested that the habitat impacts from scallop dredges are low at the scale of the fishery, since fishers target areas of soft sediment and high scallop abundance to optimise economic returns. The authors were unable to detect impacts on physical habitat from a scallop dredge using single-beam acoustic surveys between 2003 and 2004. They suggested that this may be due to the naturally dynamic habitat in the region, driven by large tidal currents and heavy seas, or that the level of fishing was below that required to adversely affect the habitat. Similarly, Semmens et al. (2015) were unable to detect a significant difference between species assemblages in fished and unfished areas over a reasonably short time, indicating that scallop dredging appears to have a relatively short- to medium-term impact on species assemblages. However, Semmens et al. (2015) cautioned that this finding may be influenced by historical fishing of the area they treated as unfished, meaning that species most affected by dredging are now too rare to be effectively sampled with scallop dredges. They also cautioned that certain species are less likely to be retained in scallop dredges, and that their absence from dredge samples in both the fished and unfished areas could mean that they were disturbed but not retained.

A level 2 (Productivity Susceptibility Analysis) ecological risk assessment considered 142 species (Hobday et al. 2007). Of these, the targeted scallops and 25 bycatch species were categorised as high risk. The Residual Risk Assessment on the high-risk species, which takes into account the mitigating effect of management measures, suggested that four invertebrate species may be at high risk: King Island crassatella (Eucrassatella kingicola), southern blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena maculosa), pebble crab (Bellidilia undecimspinosa)and black-and-white seastar (Luidia australiae)(AFMA 2009). Twenty-eight habitats were also assessed, none of which were categorised as being at high risk (Hobday et al. 2007). The current management arrangements, along with only a restricted area of the fishery being open to fishing since 2009, limit potential impacts on habitat and bycatch species.

AFMA publishes quarterly reports of logbook interactions with protected species on its website. No interactions were reported in the BSCZSF in 2016.

2.5 References

AFMA 2007, Harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.

—— 2009, Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery bycatch and discarding work plan, 1 June 2009 to 31 May 2011, AFMA, Canberra.

—— 2011, Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZFS) 2011 assessment and TAC setting: ScallopRAG Chair advice to commission, AFMA, Canberra.

—— 2012a, Harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, AFMA, Canberra.

—— 2012b, 19th meeting of the Scallop Resource Assessment Group (ScallopRAG); 1–2 February 2012, AFMA, Canberra.

—— 2014, Harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery: April 2014, AFMA, Canberra.

—— 2015, Harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery: June 2015, AFMA, Canberra.

Coleman, N 1998, ‘Counting scallops and managing the fishery in Port Phillip Bay, south-east Australia', Fisheries Research, vol. 38, pp. 145–57.

DAFF 2007, Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy: policy and guidelines, Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra.

DPIPWE 2012, 2012 commercial scallop season, Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Hobart, http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/commercial-fishing/scallop-fishery/latest-commercial-scallop-season/2012-commercial-scallop-season.

Galeano, D, Johnson, C, Levantis, C & Shafron, W 2001, Australian fisheries surveys report 2000, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Canberra.

George, D, Vieira, S & New, R 2012, Australian fisheries surveys report 2011: results for selected fisheries 2008–09 to 2010–11, ABARES, Canberra.

Haddon, M, Harrington, JJ & Semmens, JM 2006, Juvenile scallop discard rates and bed dynamics: testing the management rules for scallops in Bass Strait, FRDC project 2003/017, Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, Taroona, Tasmania.

Harrington, JJ & Semmens, JM 2010, Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery: 2009 scallop surveys final report, TAFI, Taroona, Tasmania.

Hobday, AJ, Dowdney, J, Bulman, C, Sporcic, M, Fuller, M, Goodspeed, M & Hutchinson, E 2007, Ecological risk assessment for the effects of fishing: Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Sub-Fishery, report to AFMA, Canberra.

Knuckey, I, Koopman, M & Davis, M 2015, Bass Strait and Central Zone Scallop Fishery: 2015 survey, Fishwell Consulting, Queenscliff.

Knuckey, I, Koopman, M, Hudson, R, Davis, M, & Sullivan, A 2017, Bass Strait and Central Zone Scallop Fishery: 2017 survey, Fishwell Consulting, Queenscliff.

——, Koopman, M & Davis, M 2016, Bass Strait and Central Zone Scallop Fishery: 2016 survey, Fishwell Consulting, Queenscliff.

Sahlqvist, P 2005, Consolidation of historic information for assessment of the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, final report to AFMA, project R02/1087, AFMA, Canberra.

Semmens, JM 2012, 2012 May/June BSCZSF surveys, presentation to combined ScallopRAG–ScallopMAC meeting, TAFI, Taroona, Tasmania.

——, Ovenden, JR, Jones, NAR, Mendo, TC, Macbeth, M, Broderick, D, Filardo, F, Street, R, Tracey, SR & Buxton, CD 2015, Establishing fine-scale industry based spatial management and harvest strategies for the commercial scallop, FRDC project 2008/022, IMAS, Taroona, Tasmania.

Young, PC & Martin, RB 1989, ‘The scallop fisheries of Australia and their management', Reviews in Aquatic Sciences, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 615–38.

——, McLoughlin, RJ & Martin, RB 1992, ‘Scallop (Pecten fumatus)settlement in Bass Strait, Australia', Journal of Shellfish Research, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 315–23.

Scallop catch
AFMA

Chapter 3: Coral Sea Fishery

T Emery and K Mazur

FIGURE 3.1 Area fished within the Coral Sea Fishery, 2015–16
TABLE 3.1: Status of the Coral Sea Fishery
Status
Biological status
2015
Fishing mortality
2015
Biomass
2016
Fishing mortality
2016
Biomass
Comments
Black teatfish
(Holothuria whitmaei)
Not subject to overfishingNot overfishedNot subject to overfishingNot overfishedNo catch in 2015–16; historical catch is less than plausible sustainable yield.
Prickly redfish
(Thelenota ananas)
Not subject to overfishingNot overfishedNot subject to overfishingNot overfishedNo catch in 2015–16; historical catch is less than plausible sustainable yield.
Surf redfish
(Actinopyga mauritiana)
Not subject to overfishingNot overfishedNot subject to overfishingNot overfishedNo catch in 2015–16; no current assessment to determine biomass status.
White teatfish
(Holothuria fuscogilva)
UncertainUncertainNot subject to overfishingUncertainNo catch in 2015–16; no current assessment to determine biomass status.
Other sea cucumber species (-11 species)Not subject to overfishingUncertainNot subject to overfishingUncertainNo catch in 2015–16; no current assessment to determine biomass status.
Aquarium Sector (>500 species)Not subject to overfishingNot overfishedNot subject to overfishingNot overfishedMaximum fishing effort is constrained by management and is unlikely to affect stock status.
Tropical rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus)Not subject to overfishingNot overfishedNot subject to overfishingNot overfishedNo catch in 2015–16; historical catch is less than plausible sustainable yield.
Line and Trap Sector (numerous finfish and shark species)Not subject to overfishingUncertainNot subject to overfishingUncertainFishing mortality levels are unlikely to constitute overfishing; no current assessment to determine biomass status.
Trawl and Trap Sector (numerous finfish, shark and crustacean species)Not subject to overfishingUncertainNot subject to overfishingUncertainFishing mortality levels are unlikely to constitute overfishing; no current assessment to determine biomass status.

Economic status

Estimates of NER are not available. Catch in the Aquarium Sector increased substantially in 2015–16; however, because of a lack of information about the mix of fish caught, it is unclear how this may have affected NER. There was no catch in the Sea Cucumber Sector in 2015–16, but catch and fishing effort in the longline and dropline sectors increased in 2015–16 relative to the previous season. A high degree of latent effort in the non-aquarium part of the fishery suggests low NER relative to other fisheries such as the SESSF, where permit holders operate.

Note: NER Net economic returns. SESSF Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery.

TABLE 3.2: Main features and statistics for the CSF
Fishery-level statistics a 2014-15 fishing season 2014-15 fishing season 2014-15 fishing season 2015-16 fishing season 2015-16 fishing season 2015-16 fishing season
Stock TAC (t) or catch trigger Catch
(t)
Real value
(2014-15)
TAC (t) or catch trigger Catch
(t)
Real value
(2015-16)
Aquarium Sector40 000 individuals b19 421 individualsConfidential40,000 individuals b32,462 individualsConfidential
Black teatfish10.52Confidential100
Greenfish and lollyfish10001000
Other sea cucumbers100.23Confidential1000
Prickly redfish200.57Confidential2000
Sandfish100100
Surf redfish100.001Confidential1000
White teatfish43.3Confidential40 0
Total sea cucumbers1504.6Confidential15000
Tropical rock lobster30 b0030 b00
Trochus30 b0030 b00
Line, trap and trawl operations (numerous finfish and shark species)-10.1Confidential51.6 Confidential
Total fishery - 14.8 c Confidential - 51.6 c Confidential

Fishery-level statistics2014–15 fishing season2015–16 fishing season
EffortSea Cucumber: 84 dive hours
Lobster: 0 dive hours
Aquarium: 925 dive hours
Line and Trap, and Trawl and Trap: 65,300 hooks,
0 trap lifts, 0 trawl hours
Sea Cucumber: 0 dive hours
Lobster: 0 dive hours
Aquarium: 1,986 dive hours
Line and Trap, and Trawl and Trap: 169,070 hooks,
0 trap lifts, 0 trawl hours
Fishing permits16 fishing permits across the Line and Trap (8), Trawl and Trap (2), Sea Cucumber (2), Aquarium (2), and Lobster and Trochus (2) sectors16 fishing permits across the Line and Trap (8), Trawl and Trap (2), Sea Cucumber (2), Aquarium (2), and Lobster and Trochus (2) sectors
Active vessels55
Observer coverageSea Cucumber: 0
Lobster: 0
Trochus: 0
Aquarium: 0%
Line and Trap, and Trawl and Trap: 0%
Sea Cucumber: 0
Lobster: 0
Trochus: 0
Aquarium: 6.2%
Line and Trap, and Trawl and Trap: 7.7%
Fishing methodsHand collection (includes barbless hooks and line, scoop, cast and seine nets), with or without the use of breathing apparatus; line (demersal longline, dropline and trotline); traps and trawl (finfish and crustacean)Hand collection (includes barbless hooks and line, scoop, cast and seine nets), with or without the use of breathing apparatus; line (demersal longline, dropline and trotline); traps and trawl (finfish and crustacean)
Primary landing portsBowen, Innisfail, Mooloolaba (Queensland)Bowen, Innisfail, Mooloolaba (Queensland)
Management methodsInput controls: limited entry, spatial closures
Output controls: catch triggers, size restrictions, TACs for sea cucumbers
Other: move-on provisions
Input controls: limited entry, spatial closures
Output controls: catch triggers, size restrictions, TACs for sea cucumbers
Other: move-on provisions
Primary marketsDomestic: fish products—fresh, frozen; aquarium species—live
International: South-East Asia—dried sea cucumber (bêche-de-mer); worldwide—live aquarium species
Domestic: fish products—fresh, frozen; aquarium species—live
International: South-East Asia—dried sea cucumber (bêche-de-mer); worldwide—live aquarium species
Management plan Management arrangements booklet 2016-17—Coral Sea Fishery (AFMA 2016) Management arrangements booklet 2016-17—Coral Sea Fishery (AFMA 2016)

a Unless otherwise indicated, fishery statistics are provided by fishing season, which matches the financial year (1 July to 30 June). Real-value statistics are provided by financial year. b Trigger limits. c Total catch weight excludes Aquarium Sector catch.
Notes: TAC Total allowable catch. - Not applicable.

[expand all]

3.1 Description of the fishery

Area fished

The Coral Sea Fishery (CSF) extends from Cape York to Sandy Cape, Queensland (Figure 3.1). It is bounded on the east by the Australian Fishing Zone and on the west by a line 10–100 nautical miles east of the western boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Fishing methods and key species

The CSF is a multispecies, multigear fishery targeting a variety of fish, sea cucumbers and crustaceans. Fishing methods include hand collection, demersal line, dropline, trotline, traps and trawl. Several separate fisheries existed in the Coral Sea before their integration into the CSF, including the East Coast Deepwater Finfish Fishery, the East Coast Deepwater Crustacean Trawl Fishery and the North Eastern Demersal Line Fishery.

Management methods

Management of the CSF involves both input (fishing effort) and output (catch) controls, including limited entry, total allowable catches (TACs), spatial closures, move-on provisions, size limits and catch-and-effort triggers, which are used to initiate further analysis and assessment. The harvest strategies for the sectors recognise the low effort and diverse nature of the fishery, and this is taken into account in assessing their performance. ABARES analysed harvest levels within the Sea Cucumber, Lobster and Trochus, Aquarium, and Line and Trap sectors of the CSF (Chambers 2015; Larcombe & Roach 2015; Leatherbarrow & Woodhams 2015; Woodhams et al. 2015). This work, part of the Reducing Uncertainty in Stock Status (RUSS) project, investigated current and historical catches, and indicators of population size to evaluate status. Although it did not explicitly consider the design of harvest strategies, the work may inform revision of harvest strategies in the future. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is undertaking a review of the individual sector harvest strategies, which is due for completion before the start of the 2018–19 fishing season. It is expected that the updated harvest strategies will identify the key commercial species for each sector and revise associated catch triggers to effectively monitor catches. Given the lack of fishing in the Lobster and Trochus, and Sea Cucumber sectors, and the expectation that this will continue, the focus is primarily on the harvest strategies for the Line and Trap, Trawl and Trap, and Aquarium sectors.

Fishing effort

In 2015–16, five vessels were active in the fishery: three in the Line and Trap Sector and two in the Aquarium Sector.

Catch

Approximately 51.6 t of fish (excluding the Aquarium Sector, where catch is recorded as the number of individuals) was taken in the CSF during 2015–16, representing a large increase from the 14.8 t taken in the 2014–15 season (Table 3.2).

3.2 Biological status

Sea Cucumber Sector

 

Line drawing: FAO

Stock structure

Primary target species in the Sea Cucumber Sector include black teatfish (Holothuria whitmaei), white teatfish (H.fuscogilva), surf redfish (Actinopyga mauritiana) and prickly redfish (Thelenota ananas). Limited information is available on the stock structure of these four species. For management purposes, each species is assumed to be a single biological stock. Another dozen sea cucumber species have either been taken or could potentially be taken in the fishery, should a market arise (Woodhams et al. 2015). The stock structure of these other sea cucumber species is unknown. Given the lack of information on these species, it is not practical to consider each separately, and they are managed and assessed as a group. Therefore, their status is also reported as a group.

Catch history

Catch of sea cucumbers peaked at 49 t in 2000–01. Following a marked decline in catch and catch rate of black teatfish on some reefs, annual catch limits were reduced. Since 2003–04, the annual sea cucumber catch has fluctuated between 0 t and 9.2 t. Annual catches since 2007–08 have generally been less than 3 t, with no catch recorded in 2015–16.

Stock assessment

Thirteen species or species groups have been reported in historical catches from the Sea Cucumber Sector. No formal quantitative stock assessments have been undertaken for sea cucumber species in this sector. Research by ABARES was used to determine stock status for black teatfish, white teatfish, surf redfish and prickly redfish in 2012 (Woodhams et al. 2015).

Estimates of biomass for the four sea cucumber species used a habitat-based approach. Estimates of habitat area were from a geomorphological classification undertaken as part of the Millennium Coral Reef Mapping Project (Andréfouët et al. 2005), and population densities were derived from survey data collected from the Lihou Reef and Coringa–Herald national nature reserves (Ceccarelli et al. 2008; Oxley et al. 2003, 2004). Average animal weights from commercial catch data were used to estimate biomass, and surplus production models were used to estimate maximum sustainable yield (MSY).

Stock status determination

Stock status is evaluated using outputs of the surplus production models and catch, which provide an estimate of biomass in 2010 as a proportion of biomass at the start of the assessment period (1997). Using an estimate of median biomass for black teatfish and prickly redfish, total biomass in 2010 exceeded 99 per cent of biomass at the start of the assessment period. Since this estimate, catches have remained low, not exceeding the estimate of MSY. As a result, black teatfish and prickly redfish are classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing.

Catches of surf redfish have remained low and well below historical peaks that exceeded 4 t per season. Zero catch was recorded in 2015–16. Given that catches of surf redfish have been less than the median estimate of MSY (879 kg) for 14 of the 18 seasons since 1997–98 (including the 2015–16 season), surf redfish is classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing. Since no catch of white teatfish was recorded in 2015–16 and catch remains well below the historical peak of 19.7 t in 1999–2000, white teatfish is classified as not subject to overfishing. Permit holders operate in the Queensland state-managed sea cucumber fishery; effort applied to the CSF has been sporadic because of focused effort being applied to the more accessible state fishery. As a result of data limitations, a plausible initial biomass estimate could not be established for white teatfish, and the biomass of this stock remains uncertain. Since stock status classification is at the fishery level, caution is required when considering status at the level of an individual reef. Historical catch at some reefs has been high, and impacts of this reef-level catch should be considered further.

Given the lack of stock assessments of the group of other sea cucumber species, the biomass for this multispecies stock is classified as uncertain.Since there was no catch from this sector in 2015–16, the stock is classified as not subject to overfishing.

Aquarium Sector

Stock structure

The large number of species taken by the Aquarium Sector of the CSF means that it is not practical to assess each species or stock separately; hence, multiple species are aggregated into a multispecies stock. Aquarium fish species also occur in coastal Queensland waters, including around the Great Barrier Reef. Ocean currents may cause high inter-reef dispersal of fish larvae (Ryan & Clarke 2005); however, for management purposes, the aquarium fishes within the boundaries of the CSF are considered as a single stock.

Stock assessment

The ABARES assessment of the Aquarium Sector (Leatherbarrow & Woodhams 2015), based on data up to the 2008–09 fishing season, indicated that fishing in the sector was unlikely to be having an adverse impact on the stock. Under current permit conditions, operators can only fish about 7 per cent of suitable habitat within the CSF in any given year. Around 35 per cent of the suitable habitat in the fishery is fully protected within the Coringa–Herald and Lihou Reef national nature reserves (Figure 3.1). Investigation of annual extraction rates for key commercial fish families suggests that historical extraction rates have been very low. Furthermore, a species-specific risk assessment suggests low or very low risk to the species harvested in the fishery (Leatherbarrow & Woodhams 2015).

Since the last assessment (Leatherbarrow & Woodhams 2015), there have been no substantial changes to catch levels, species composition of catches or operational conditions. Although the catch increased in 2015–16, it remains below the trigger and is considered unlikely to have a detrimental impact on the stock. The family-specific triggers in the Coral Sea Fishery—Aquarium Sector harvest strategy are being revised based on the ABARES assessment (Leatherbarrow & Woodhams 2015). It is expected that the harvest strategy will require a species-level catch analysis to be completed if a trigger is met.

Stock status determination

Based on the most recent assessment (Leatherbarrow & Woodhams 2015) and recent fishing activity levels, the Aquarium Sector stock is classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing.

Tropical rock lobster

Tropical rock lobster 

Line drawing: FAO

Stock structure

Tropical rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus) populations in the Coral Sea, northern Queensland (Crayfish and Rocklobster Fishery) and Torres Strait are thought to comprise a single biological stock, as a result of the mixing of larvae in the Coral Sea (Pitcher et al. 2005). Stock assessments have only been made on subcomponents of this biological stock (Keag et al. 2012). Although catch records suggest that P. ornatus has accounted for most of the historical catch (with smaller quantities of P. versicolor; Chambers 2015), recent consultation with fishers has confirmed that lobster catch is unlikely to include P. ornatus (CSIRO, 2015, pers. comm.).

Catch history

Catches of tropical rock lobster ranged from less than 200 kg to more than 2 t per year between 2000 and 2004. Annual catches have been less than 2 t since 2005, and no lobster has been caught in the dive sector since 2006–07.

Stock assessment

No quantitative stock assessment has been undertaken on Coral Sea tropical rock lobster. As a result of limited targeting of lobster in the Coral Sea, insufficient information is available from logbook data to estimate stock size or sustainable yields. However, when the number of reefs, the potential reef area in the CSF, and the pattern of catch and effort recorded in fisher logbooks are considered, it is likely that none of the major reefs in the CSF have ever been extensively fished. Extrapolated estimates of lobster density on Coral Sea reefs, inferred from catch rates, suggest that lobster abundance is likely to be many times higher than would be required to support the total historical catch of less than 10 t (Chambers 2015). Consequently, current fishing activity in the sector is unlikely to be having an adverse impact on the stock (Chambers 2015).

Stock status determination

Based on the number of reefs, the potential reef area and low levels of fishing effort, the tropical rock lobster stock is classified as not overfished.Lobster was not harvested in the 2015–16 season, and the stock is classified as not subject to overfishing.

Line, trawl and trap sectors

Stock structure

Because of the large number of finfish, shark and crustacean species taken by this sector, it is not practical to assess each species or stock separately. For management purposes, catch in the sectors is considered to be a single stock.

Catch history

The total landed catch across these sectors was 51.6 t in 2015–16, an increase of 41.5 t from 2014–15. No trap effort has been recorded since 2010–11, and no trawl effort has been recorded since 2006–07. The number of hooks deployed increased to 169,070 in 2015–16, from 65,300 in 2014–15 (Table 3.2). The total catch was equally shared between demersal longline (26.4 t) and dropline (25.1 t) fishing methods.

Stock assessment

The Line and Trap, and Trawl and Trap sectors take a wide variety of finfish, shark and, historically, crustacean species (using trawl gear). There are no formal, single-species stock assessments for any of the species taken in these sectors. In 2012, ABARES used a multispecies approach that considered historical catch levels and conservative yield estimates to evaluate stock status (Larcombe & Roach 2015). The work summarised catch and effort across sectors, and species taken by line-and-trap operations. Three separate species assemblages were considered: a deep assemblage, a reef assemblage and a shark assemblage. Although results varied at the reef level, recent harvest from these assemblages was considered unlikely to constitute overfishing when the total harvest was considered across the fishery.

In 2017, the yield scenarios for some species in the deep assemblage were revised based on new natural mortality (M) estimates (Wakefield et al. 2015; Williams et al. 2015), leading to a reduction in both species-specific and deep assemblage MSY estimates. The Coral Sea Fishery—Line, Trawl and Trap Sector harvest strategy is being updated, based on the ABARES revised MSY estimates for the ‘combined deep-water assemblage' and updates to taxonomy.

At the fishery level, the total line catch in 2015–16 was higher than the most conservative (low biomass and lowest exploitation constant) revised estimate of all-species sustainable yield (31.5 t) but lower than all others (Larcombe & Roach 2015). In 2015–16, flame snapper (Etelis coruscans) constituted approximately 75 and 34 per cent of the auto-longline and dropline catch, respectively, with a total of 28.6 t caught. The combined catch of flame snapper, bar rockcod (Epinephelus ergastularius and E. septemfasciatus), amberjack (Seriola dumerili)and ruby snappers (Etelis spp.) constituted approximately 88 and 80 per cent of auto-longline and dropline catch, respectively.Given that flame snapper typically represents a large proportion of the total catch, landings in relation to the sustainable yield estimates should be monitored in future assessments.

In some fishing seasons, sharks have comprised a large component of the total catch for these sectors—for example, blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus spp.) were more than 50 per cent of the total line catch in 2005–06. However, no data are available to evaluate the impact of this harvest on shark populations in the CSF or the impact on these species throughout their distributions. Therefore, it is difficult to draw conclusions about the biomass status of sharks in these sectors. However, the line catch of sharks since 2009 has been less than 400 kg, and in 2015–16 was 287 kg. It is unlikely that this low catch would constitute overfishing.

Although trawling has contributed a large proportion of the total catch from the fishery in some years, no trawl operations have been reported in the CSF since the 2006–07 season. Trawlers in the CSF have historically targeted finfish and crustaceans. ABARES did not consider any finfish or crustaceans taken by trawling (Larcombe & Roach 2015), and limited information is available on the sustainability of harvest of these species groups within the fishery.

Stock status determination

The ABARES analyses indicate that the line catch in 2015–16 was unlikely to constitute overfishing, and there were no trawl or trap fishing operations. Currently, the Line and Trap, and Trawl and Trap sectors are classified as not subject to overfishing.

Although it is unlikely that the finfish that make up the catch of line-and-trap operations are overfished, uncertainty remains about the impact of historical fishing on several low-productivity finfish species, and on sharks and other species that were historically caught in trawl operations. Therefore, the biomass of the Line and Trap, and Trawl and Trap sectors is classified as uncertain.

3.3 Economic status

Key economic trends

The Aquarium Sector is likely to have contributed most of the value of the CSF in recent years. The sector's gross value of production (GVP) is difficult to estimate because catch is reported as the number of fish rather than the weight of fish. As well, prices are different for different species, and prices of individual fish vary with sex, colour, size and age. A large proportion of this sector's catch is exported and traded in United States dollars; as a result, the value of production is influenced by movements in the exchange rate. The Australian Bureau of Statistics records the exports of live Australian species of ornamental fish (with no distinction made between marine and non-marine species). In 2015–16, these exports were valued at $2.1 million (compared with $1.9 million in 2014–15), of which exports from Queensland accounted for 71 per cent. It is not possible to determine the CSF's contribution to this total. The Queensland Marine Aquarium Fish Fishery is larger than the CSF in terms of vessel numbers (DEEDI 2010) and is likely to make a larger contribution to total exports than the CSF.

The number of hooks used in the line sector of the fishery increased from 65,300 in 2014–15 to 169,070 in 2015–16 (Table 3.2). The line sector catch increased from 10.1 t in 2014–15 to 51.6 t in 2015–16. The GVP from these sectors also increased, but cannot be reported because of the small number of operators (Figure 3.2).

No sea cucumber, lobster catch or trawl effort occurred in 2015–16, and therefore these sectors did not generate any net economic returns (NER).

FIGURE 3.2 Real GVP for the CSF (excluding the Aquarium Sector), 2005–06 to 2015–16
Note: GVP Gross value of production.

Management arrangements

The CSF is managed through a range of input controls and output controls. The low-cost approach to management is likely to be appropriate in view of the fishery's relatively low fishing effort and value.

Performance against economic objective

The existence of latent available effort units in the non-aquarium part of the fishery suggests that fishers have had a low incentive to participate in this part of the fishery, reflecting expectations of low profits. For example, only a small number of vessels have been active in the Line and Trap Sector in recent years (five vessels in 2015–16), despite eight permits being available. Despite the increase in fishing effort and catch for this part of the fishery during 2015–16, the influence of this on NER is unclear. Similarly, a lack of information about the mix of fish caught in the Aquarium Sector means that changes in NER remain uncertain, despite the increase in catch (from 19,421 individuals in 2014–15 to 32,462 individuals in 2015–16) and dive effort (from 925 hours in 2014–15 to 1,986 hours in 2015–16).

The CSF is a relatively data-poor fishery, and its performance against the objectives of the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy (DAFF 2007) is difficult to assess. Given the paucity of data, it is difficult to set management levels (TACs and trigger levels) in accordance with the economic objective of maximising NER.

Aquarium sector fish
AFMA

3.4 Environmental status

The CSF was reaccredited under parts 13 and 13A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 until 22 December 2017. Conditions placed on the approval relate to evaluating the risks to humphead Maori wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) and implementing additional management measures to mitigate these risks, as appropriate. The catch of humphead Maori wrasse, which is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is subject to strict trade regulations. An annual take of 50 humphead Maori wrasse in the Aquarium Sector was approved under the non-detriment finding process. Several recommendations were also provided, including reviewing, validating and justifying harvest strategy triggers; determining the impact of fishing on shark species in the Line and Trap, and Trawl and Trap sectors; and developing management measures to mitigate impacts on sharks.

In 2007, a qualitative level 1 (Scale, Intensity, Consequence Analysis) ecological risk assessment of eight sectors in the CSF covered a broad suite of species and associated habitats. A semi-qualitative level 2 ecological risk assessment was then undertaken in 2009 for protected species and chondrichthyans (AFMA 2009). Harvest strategy trigger limits may be updated, depending on the outcome of the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review process, which is currently underway.

AFMA publishes quarterly reports of logbook interactions with protected species on its website. No interactions were reported in the CSF in 2016.

3.5 References

AFMA 2009, ‘Coral Sea Fishery qualitative risk analysis, part 1, Protected (TEP) and chondrichthyan species', unpublished report, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.

—— 2016, Management arrangements booklet 2016–17—Coral Sea Fishery, AFMA, Canberra.

Andréfouët, S, Muller-Karger, FE, Robinson, JA, Kranenburg, CJ, Torres-Pulliza, D, Spraggins, SA & Murch, B 2005, ‘Global assessment of modern coral reef extent and diversity for regional science and management applications: a view from space', in Y Suzuki, T Nakamori, M Hidaka, H Kayanne, BE Casareto, K Nadaoka, H Yamano, M Tsuchiya & K Yamazato (eds), 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, Japanese Coral Reef Society, Okinawa, Japan.

Ceccarelli, D, Choat, JH, Ayling, AM, Richards, Z, van Herwerden, L, Ayling, A, Ewels, G, Hobbs, JP & Cuff, B 2008, Coringa–Herald National Nature Reserve marine survey—2007, report to the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, C&R Consulting & James Cook University.

Chambers, M 2015, ‘Status determination for trochus and tropical rock lobster stocks in the Coral Sea Fishery hand collection sector', in J Larcombe, R Noriega & I Stobutzki (eds), Reducing uncertainty in fisheries stock status, ABARES research report, ABARES, Canberra.

DAFF 2007, Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy: policy and guidelines, Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra.

DEEDI 2010, Annual status report 2010: Marine Aquarium Fish Fishery, Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Brisbane, available at daff.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/52604/MAFF-ASR-2010-Final.pdf.

Keag, M, Flood, M & Saunders, T 2012, ‘Tropical rocklobster Panulirus ornatus', in M Flood, I Stobutzki, J Andrews, G Begg, W Fletcher, C Gardner, J Kemp, A Moore, A O'Brien, R Quinn, J Roach, K Rowling, K Sainsbury, T Saunders, T Ward & M Winning (eds) 2012, Status of key Australian fish stocks reports 2012, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra, pp. 161–6.

Larcombe, J & Roach, J 2015, ‘Coral Sea Fishery Line and Trap sector: preliminary stock assessments', in J Larcombe, R Noriega & I Stobutzki (eds), Reducing uncertainty in fisheries stock status, report, ABARES research report, Canberra.

Leatherbarrow, A & Woodhams, J 2015, ‘Coral Sea Fishery: Aquarium Sector assessments', in J Larcombe, R Noriega & I Stobutzki (eds), Reducing uncertainty in fisheries stock status, ABARES research report, Canberra.

Oxley, WG, Ayling, AM, Cheal, AJ & Thompson, AA 2003, Marine surveys undertaken in the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, March–April 2003, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.

——, Emslie, M, Muir, P & Thompson, AA 2004, Marine surveys undertaken in the Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve, March 2004, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.

Pitcher, CR, Turnbull, CT, Atfield, J, Griffin, D, Dennis, D & Skewes, T 2005, Biology, larval transport modelling and commercial logbook data analysis to support management of the NE Queensland rocklobster Panulirus ornatus fishery, FRDC project 2002/008, CSIRO Marine Research, Brisbane.

Ryan, S & Clarke, K 2005, Ecological assessment of the Queensland Marine Aquarium Fish Fishery: a report to the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage on the ecologically sustainable management of the Queensland marine aquarium harvest fishery, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.

Wakefield, CB, Williams, AJ, Newman, SJ, Bunel, M, Boddington, DK, Vourey, E
& Fairclough DV 2015, ‘Variations in growth, longevity and natural mortality for the protogynous hermaphroditic eightbar grouper Hyporthodus octofasciatus between the Indian and Pacific Oceans', Fisheries Research,vol. 172, pp. 26–33.

Williams, AJ, Newman, SJ, Wakefield, CB, Bunel, M, Halafihi, T, Kaltavara, J & Nicol, S 2015, ‘Evaluating the performance of otolith morphometrics in deriving age compositions and mortality rates for assessment of data-poor tropical fisheries', ICES Journal of Marine Science, vol. 72, no. 7, pp. 2098–109.

Woodhams, J, Chambers, M & Penrose, L 2015, ‘Assessing Coral Sea Fishery sea cucumber stocks using spatial methods', in J Larcombe, R Noriega & I Stobutzki (eds), Reducing uncertainty in fisheries stock status, ABARES, Canberra.

Chapter 4: Norfolk Island Fishery

H Patterson

FIGURE 4.1 Management area of the Norfolk Island Fishery

[expand all]

4.1 Description of the fishery

The Norfolk Island Fishery is currently an inshore recreational and charter-based line fishery (Figure 4.1).

An offshore exploratory commercial trawl-and-line fishery operated between 2000 and 2003. Limited effort in the fishery during this period meant that the permit holders failed to meet the required 50 days of fishing over three years. Low catches of orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) and alfonsino (Beryx splendens) indicated that small stocks of these species could occur in the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone around Norfolk Island. Bass groper (Polyprion americanus), hapuku (P.oxygeneios) and blue-eye trevalla (Hyperoglyphe antarctica) dominated hook catches.

No harvest strategy has been developed for the fishery because of the absence of commercial fishing. A harvest strategy will need to be developed if commercial fishing recommences.

Norfolk Island Inshore Recreational and Charter Fishery

The Norfolk Island Inshore Recreational and Charter Fishery covers an area of 67 nautical miles (nm) × 40 nm on the shelf and upper slope adjacent to Norfolk Island. Demersal species are primarily targeted on reefs and pinnacles 5–10 nm (but up to 30 nm) offshore, at depths of 20–50 m. The catch is dominated by redthroat emperor (Lethrinus miniatus), known locally as ‘trumpeter', but around 40 commercial species have been identified from the inshore fishery. Other important demersal species (or species groups) are cods and groupers (Serranidae), Queensland grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus), yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) and snapper (Pagrus auratus). Important pelagic species include yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), trevally (Pseudocaranx spp.) and skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis).

Limited research has been conducted on the Norfolk Island Fishery. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority's data summary for the Norfolk Island Inshore Recreational and Charter Fishery provides catch data from 2006 to 2009 (AFMA 2010).

4.2 Biological status

Data on catch and effort for the target species in the inshore fishery are limited, although anecdotal reports suggest that catch rates in recent years may have declined from historical levels reported by Grant (1981). No stock assessments or biomass estimates for species taken within the inshore fisheries have been made. No stock status classifications have been given to this fishery, since there are no defined stocks for management purposes.

4.3 Economic status

The offshore fishery is currently closed to commercial fishing. All permits for the fishery have expired, and no valid fishing concessions exist. Low catch levels and the failure of vessels to meet the required number of fishing days during the exploratory fishery period suggest that there is limited potential for positive net economic returns to be generated from this fishery. For the inshore fishery, no commercial fishing permits currently exist, and no indicators are available to allow conclusions on the fishery's economic performance.

4.4 Environmental status

No ecological risk assessments have been undertaken or are planned for this fishery, because of the absence of commercial fishing activity. Since no fishing occurred in the offshore demersal fishery in 2016, no interactions with protected species were reported.

4.5 References

AFMA 2010, Norfolk Island Inshore Fishery data summary 2006–2009, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.

Grant, C 1981, ‘High catch rates in Norfolk Island dropline survey', Australian Fisheries, March 1981.

Chapter 13: Southern Squid Jig Fishery

T Emery and A Bath

FIGURE 13.1 (a) Commonwealth Trawl Sector squid catch and (b) relative fishing intensity in the Southern Squid Jig Fishery, 2016
FIGURE 13.1 (a) Commonwealth Trawl Sector squid catch and (b) relative fishing intensity in the Southern Squid Jig Fishery, 2016 continued
TABLE 13.1 Status of the Southern Squid Jig Fishery
Status
Biological status
2015
Fishing mortality
2015
Biomass
2016
Fishing mortality
2016
Biomass
Comments
Gould's squid (Nototodarus gouldi)Not subject to overfishingNot overfishedNot subject to overfishingNot overfishedIn 2016, catch and effort in the SSJF and the CTS were similar to 2015 and remain, lower than the long-term average. Catch rates in the CTS are stable.

Economic status
Latent effort in the fishery remains high, but catch and effort in the fishery increased from 2015 to 2016. This suggests that the economic incentive to fish and NER in the fishery may have improved.

Notes: CTS Commonwealth Trawl Sector. NER Net economic returns.

[expand all]

13.1 Description of the fishery

Area fished

The Southern Squid Jig Fishery (SSJF) is located off New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, and in a small area off southern Queensland. Most fishing takes place off Portland, Victoria (Figure 13.1). Australian jig vessels typically operate at night in continental-shelf waters between depths of 60 and 120 m. Squid are also caught in the Commonwealth Trawl Sector (CTS) and the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector (GABTS). In recent years, more squid has been landed collectively from these sectors than from the SSJF.

Fishing methods and key species

The SSJF is a single-method (jigging), single-species fishery, targeting Gould's squid (Nototodarus gouldi). Up to 10 automatic jig machines are used on each vessel; each machine has two spools of heavy line, with 20–25 jigs attached to each line. High-powered lamps are used to attract squid. Squid are also caught in the CTS and the GABTS by demersal trawling.

Management methods

The Commonwealth SSJF is managed by the Australian Government, whereas jigging operations within coastal waters (inside the 3 nautical mile limit) are managed by the relevant state government.

The species' short life span, fast growth and sensitivity to environmental conditions result in highly variable recruitment and strongly fluctuating stock sizes, making it difficult to estimate biomass before a fishing season. Therefore, the SSJF harvest strategy (AFMA 2007) relies on within-season monitoring against catch triggers for the jig and trawl sectors. Exceeding catch, fishing effort or catch-per-unit-effort triggers may signal the need for assessment and review of management arrangements. The current harvest strategy does not set escapement targets (that is, a proportion of the spawning biomass that is not fished and allowed to spawn) to limit the percentage of biomass removed in a season. Current harvest strategies based on catch-and-effort triggers have been implemented because of difficulties in collecting real-time catch, effort and size data, and growth estimates needed for within-season depletion analyses. Because of the current low fishing effort and conservative trigger limits, a move towards a more responsive management approach is not currently considered a high priority.

Squid are listed as a ‘permitted species' in the state-managed commercial fisheries of Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales, whereas no regulations apply to squid in Victorian commercial fisheries (AFMA 2014).

Fishing effort

In 2016, there were 5,100 gear statutory fishing rights (SFRs), seven active vessels and a total fishing effort of 1,733 jig hours in the SSJF (Table 13.2). Despite brief increases in effort in 2011 and 2012, annual jig fishing effort has been below the long-term average since 2006 (Figure 13.2). High costs relative to revenue, combined with the highly variable biomass or availability of the stock, are the main reasons for the reduced effort since 2008. Effort increases in 2015 and 2016 resulting from higher and stable market prices and improved access to domestic markets have created greater certainty in the fishery (AFMA 2016). Trawling effort in the CTS and the GABTS is discussed in Chapters 9 and 11, respectively.

TABLE 13.2 Main features and statistics for the SSJF
Fishery statistics a201520152015201620162016
Fishery TAE Catch
(t)
Real value
(2014–15)
TAE Catch
(t)
Real value
(2015–16)
SSJF550 standard jigging machines b330$0.90 million550 standard jigging machines b384$1.03 million
CTS450$1.27 million542$1.40 million
GABTS44$0.16 million55$0.14 million
Total 824 $2.33 million 981 $2.57 million

Fishery-level statistics20152016
Effort1,304 jig hours1,733 jig hours
Gear SFRs c5,5005,100
Active vessels77
Observer coverage00
Fishing methodsSquid jigSquid jig
Primary landing portsPortland and Queenscliff (Victoria), Hobart (Tasmania)Portland and Queenscliff (Victoria), Hobart (Tasmania)
Management methodsInput controls: gear SFRs, number of jig machinesInput controls: gear SFRs, number of jig machines
Primary marketsDomestic: Melbourne—fresh
International: China, Hong Kong, Canada
Domestic: Melbourne—fresh
International: China, Hong Kong, Canada
Management plan Southern Squid Jig Fishery Management Plan 2005 Southern Squid Jig Fishery Management Plan 2005

a The SSJF fishing season is 1 January to 31 December. Value statistics are by financial year and are in 2015–16 dollars. b Defined in the Southern Squid Jig Fishery Management Plan 2005 as a squid jigging machine that has two elliptical spools with one jig line on each spool. c Gear SFRs are fishing rights that permit fishers to use a defined type and quantity of fishing gear. Operators in 2016 require 9.27 SFRs to be nominated to their boat for each standard squid jigging machine they use.
Notes: CTS Commonwealth Trawl Sector. GABTS Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector. SFR Statutory fishing right. TAE Total allowable effort. – Not applicable.

FIGURE 13.2: Effort, number of permits and number of active vessels in the SSJF, 1996 to 2016
Squid jig lights
AFMA

13.2 Biological status

Gould's squid (Nototodarus gouldi)

Gould's squid (Nototodarus gouldi) 

Line drawing: FAO

Stock structure

Gould's squid is assumed to be a single biological stock throughout southern Australian waters. Genetic studies support this hypothesis (Jackson & McGrath-Steer 2003). Analysis of statoliths has shown that some Gould's squid caught in Victorian waters and the Great Australian Bight were hatched in a number of different regions off southern Australia (Virtue et al. 2011), with genetic homogeneity more a function of egg mass and juvenile drift as a result of seasonal longitudinal ocean currents rather than of large-scale migrations between the two areas (Green et al. 2015).

Catch history

Before the commencement of the SSJF, Japanese commercial jig vessels fished waters off southern Australia in the 1970s and in the southern Australian Fishing Zone in the 1980s under joint-venture partnerships with Australian companies. The highest catch of Gould's squid from south-eastern Australian waters (7,914 t) was taken by Japanese jig vessels in 1979–80. Commercially viable jig catch rates were also achieved in south-east waters, particularly in western Bass Strait, proving the feasibility of a fishery for Gould's squid. Taiwanese and Korean vessels were also licensed to fish in Bass Strait until 1988, with annual catches ranging from 13 to 2,309 t.

In 2016, 981 t of squid was reported across the three squid fishery sectors—SSJF (384 t), CTS (542 t) and GABTS (55 t)—an increase from 824 t in 2015 (Table 13.2). Total annual reported catch of Gould's squid by all methods was less than 1,000 t between 2008 and 2010, before the brief period of higher catches in both the CTS and the SSJF in 2011 and 2012 (Figure 13.3). Low catch levels in 2014 were largely attributed to lower levels of fishing effort and exploratory fishing of new fishing grounds (Figure 13.2).

During the past 10 years, SSJF annual catches have fluctuated between 1,569 t in 2005 and 2 t in 2014. In the CTS, the annual catch has ranged between 260 and 944 t, increasing to 542 t in 2016, up from 450 t in 2015. In the GABTS, the annual catch peaked in 2006 at 261 t, but has been much lower in recent years.

In 2016, the nominal annual average catch rate from the jig fishery was 221 kg/hour, which was the third highest catch rate over the past decade, down slightly from a historical high of 253 kg/hour in 2015 and up from a historical low of 40 kg/hour for the small amount of fishing in 2014 (Figure 13.4).

The total catch of Gould's squid in Tasmanian-managed waters in 2015–16 was 325 t. This was an increase from 19 t in 2014–15, but below the more than 1,000 t in 2012–13, taken by the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery.

FIGURE 13.3 Squid catch in the SSJF, the CTS and the GABTS, 1986 to 2016
Notes: CTS Commonwealth Trawl Sector. GABTS Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector.
FIGURE 13.4 Nominal catch rate of Gould's squid in the SSJF, the CTS and the GABTS, 1996 to 2016
Notes: CTS Commonwealth Trawl Sector. GABTS Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector.
Stock assessment

Gould's squid is short lived, with a maximum life span of 12 months (Jackson & McGrath-Steer 2003). The fishery is therefore entirely dependent on annual recruitment. The squid display highly variable growth, and size and age at maturity. Once mature, they will spawn until they die, and recruitment is highly variable (Jackson & McGrath-Steer 2003; Virtue et al. 2011). These characteristics mean that stock biomass can rapidly increase when environmental conditions are favourable and fluctuate substantially between years.

In 2008, the Squid Resource Assessment Group analysed catch, catch rates and effort from 2000 to 2007 for four regions in the SSJF. Only one region—the central region from Cape Otway in Victoria to Robe in South Australia—had fishing levels that could cause depletion. During the 2001 fishing season, high catch rates were reported for the central region, and the total jig fishery catch was the second highest on record (Figure 13.3). A preliminary depletion analysis of the central region using jig catch-and-effort data indicated that, despite the high catches, the stock was not overfished in that region in that year.

ABARES conducted further depletion analyses for the central region of the SSJF for 1995 to 2006 (Barnes et al. 2015). The initial depletion curve results show stock declines during most seasons, with escapement in five seasons estimated to be between 30 and 40 per cent. However, these results are for only one region of the fishery and do not indicate exploitation rates for the whole stock. Limited data are available on squid growth in this region. Interpretation of the depletion estimates is further complicated by the lack of an agreed estimate of natural mortality, the possible presence of multiple cohorts each year (as a result of multiple spawning events) and a lack of knowledge about squid movement in the region. Application of a depletion analysis to guide within-season management decisions under the harvest strategy will require improved real-time fishery monitoring throughout the fishing season.

Squid are visual predators, and poor jig catch rates in some seasons (1998 and 2000) have been reported by industry as being due to rough seas and reduced water clarity. Furthermore, nominal jig catch rates might not provide a reliable index of squid abundance because of the aggregating effect of lights used during fishing operations.

Trawl catch rates from the CTS have been stable over the past 15 years, suggesting long-term stability in the availability, and perhaps biomass, of Gould's squid in the areas trawled (see the CTS and GABTS in Figure 13.4). The 2012 average trawl catch rate for Gould's squid in the CTS was the highest reported in the past 20 years. The extent to which squid are targeted on trawl grounds is unclear.

Stock status determination

The high historical catches taken by foreign vessels in the late 1970s and 1980s indicate that a high annual harvest can be taken from the stock in years of high abundance without greatly reducing recruitment and biomass for subsequent seasons. The results of retrospective depletion analysis, stable catch rates in the trawl fishery over an extended period and higher average catch rates (with the exception of the 2014 season, when effort declined) indicate that the stock has not been overfished in any season. As a result, the Gould's squid stock is classified as not overfished.Reduced SSJF catch levels during 2014 were attributed to a low availability of squid in traditional fishing grounds, combined with unfavourable prices that discouraged fishing. In 2015 and 2016, effort in the fishery increased as a result of higher market prices and improved access to domestic markets; however, total effort remains lower than the long-term average, and both squid jig and trawl nominal annual average catch rates have been relatively stable with the exception of 2014. The stock is thus classified as not subject to overfishing.

13.3 Economic status

Key economic trends

Low fishing effort resulted in the lowest SSJF catch on record in 2014 (2 t). Catch in the SSJF has since increased to 330 t in 2015 and 384 t in 2016, reaching a value of $1.03 million in 2015–16 (Figure 13.5). Squid also contributed $1.40 million in the CTS and $0.14 million in the GABTS during 2015–16.

Effort levels in the fishery increased from 1,304 jig hours in 2015 to 1,733 jig hours in 2016. Increased effort and catch from the low levels of 2014 suggest that the incentive to fish and potentially net economic returns (NER) improved during 2015 and 2016.

The lack of a reliable supply for the domestic market has restricted the development of processing facilities. Most vessels operating in the SSJF do not have onboard refrigeration or processing facilities. The catch is chilled on board but must be returned to port each morning for processing or freezing, limiting the total amount of squid that can be taken on each trip. Catch volume and value in the SSJF are still low relative to other Commonwealth fisheries. It could be expected that NER are also likely to be comparatively low.

FIGURE 13.5 Real GVP and average unit prices in the SSJF, 2005–06 to 2015–16
Notes: GVP Gross value of production.

Management arrangements

The short life span of squid, a weak relationship between recruitment and stock abundance, and high interannual variability in squid abundance or availability mean that a biomass target such as BMEY (the biomass producing maximum economic yield) is not considered to be appropriate for the SSJF. Instead of a biomass target, the fishery's harvest strategy has a 3,000 t catch trigger to initiate a formal stock assessment. This aims to prevent depletion in the SSJF, by allowing catches above the trigger level only if they are justified by assessment results (AFMA 2007). The trigger has not been reached since the harvest strategy was implemented in 2007.

The SSJF is managed using input (effort limit) controls. In the absence of formal stock assessments, total allowable effort (TAE) in the fishery has been set by the Squid Resource Assessment Group and the South East Management Advisory Committee at levels that maintain the capacity of the fleet to respond to changes in markets or the availability of squid. There has been no economic basis for setting the fishery's TAE (AFMA 2007).

While there is a high degree of latent effort in the fishery, the increased catches and nominal catch rates since 2014, combined with stable market prices, may result in increased targeting of squid in the future (AFMA 2016). The number of squid jigging machines allocated to each gear SFR is determined by dividing the TAE for the fishing year by the total number of gear SFRs for the fishing season. In 2016, the TAE was 550 standard jigging machines, with 5,100 gear SFRs present in the fishery, meaning that each jigging machine required 9.27 gear SFRs. A squid jigging vessel can use up to 10 jigging machines, meaning that 55 vessels could have operated in the fishery during 2016, when only 2 vessels were active. Although the level of gear SFR latency (unused gear) has been variable in the SSJF, it has persisted at high levels since 1996. This suggests that market factors rather than management arrangements have constrained effort.

Performance against economic objective

The catch trigger approach implemented in the SSJF has no clear link to economic performance, so it is difficult to determine how well the fishery is meeting the economic objective of the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy (DAFF 2007).

Despite effort increasing in the past two fishing seasons, high levels of latent fishing effort have persisted in the SSJF. Reducing this latent effort may be beneficial for the fishery by preventing the entry of excessive capacity in profitable years when prices are high. However, a lower TAE would need to be supported by a well-functioning market for unused gear SFRs to ensure that the fishery can still optimise the exploitation of a variable stock in years of increased abundance and high prices.

13.4 Environmental status

The SSJF is included on the List of Exempt Native Specimens under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and therefore has export approval until 9 October 2026. There were no additional recommendations under this exemption.

The ecological risk assessment of the fishery, completed in 2006, did not identify any threats to the environment from jig fishing (AFMA 2009; Furlani et al. 2007). The SSJF is a highly selective fishery with little bycatch. Occasionally, schools of pelagic sharks, especially blue shark (Prionace glauca), are attracted by the schooling squid, and barracouta (Thyrsites atun)frequently attack squid jigs. The main effect of these interactions is damage to, or loss of, fishing gear; consequently, these species are avoided, with operators usually moving to another area when such interactions occur. Some gear is lost at times; it sinks to the seabed as a result of line weights.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority publishes quarterly reports of logbook interactions with species that are protected under the EPBC Act. No interactions were reported for the SSJF in 2016. The occurrence of fur seals (Arctocephalus spp.) near working jig vessels has been raised as a possible concern in the past. However, observers on jig vessels in 2002 found no evidence of negative effects on seals from jigging. Observer records in 2005 and 2007 did not identify any effects on seals (Arnould 2002).

13.5 References

AFMA 2007, Southern Squid Jig Fishery harvest strategy, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.

—— 2009, Ecological risk management: report for the Southern Squid Jig Fishery, AFMA, Canberra.

—— 2014, Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery management arrangements booklet May 2014, AFMA, Canberra.

—— 2016, ‘Southern Squid Jig Fishery Resource Assessment Group (SquidRAG) meeting 21', meeting record, 14 September 2016, AFMA, Canberra.

Arnould, JPY 2002, Southern Squid Jig Fishery—seal interaction project: report on observations of interactions between fur seals and fishing vessels, report to AFMA, Canberra.

Barnes, B, Ward, P & Boero, V 2015, ‘Depletion analyses of Gould's squid in the Bass Strait', in J Larcombe, R Noriega & I Stobutzki (eds), Reducing uncertainty in fisheries stock status, ABARES, Canberra.

DAFF 2007, Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy: policy and guidelines, Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra.

Furlani, D, Ling, S, Hobday, A, Dowdney, J, Bulman, C, Sporcic, M & Fuller, M 2007, Ecological risk assessment for the effects of fishing: Southern Squid Jig Sub-fishery, report to AFMA, Canberra.

Green, CP, Robertson, SG, Hamer, PA, Virtue, P, Jackson, GD & Moltschaniwskyj, NA 2015, ‘Combining statolith element composition and Fourier shape data allows discrimination of spatial and temporal stock structure of arrow squid (Nototodarus gouldi)', Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, vol. 72, no. 11, pp. 1609–18.

Jackson, GD & McGrath-Steer, BL 2003, Arrow squid in southern Australian waters: supplying management needs through biological investigations, final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, project 1999/112, Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart.

Virtue, P, Green, C, Pethybridge, H, Moltschaniwskyj, N, Wotherspoon, S & Jackson, G 2011, Arrow squid: stock variability, fishing techniques, trophic linkages—facing the challenges, final report to FRDC, project 2006/12, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart.

​​​
Last reviewed:
13 Feb 2018