Fisheries Long Term Monitoring Program
- J McGilvray, I Brown, E Jebreen, D Smallwood
- Publication details:
- Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane, Australia
- August 2006
- Bibliographic details:
- 46 pages
Fisheries Queensland, a service of the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, manages the harvest of Queensland's fish, mollusc and crustacean species and the habitats they live in. Inherent in this responsibility is a commitment to monitoring the condition and trends in fish populations and their associated habitats. This information is used to assess the effectiveness of fisheries management strategies and contributes to ensuring that the fisheries remain ecologically sustainable.
The spanner crab, Ranina ranina, inhabits sandy bottoms on the continental shelf off Australia's east coast, from southern New South Wales, north to the southern Great Barrier Reef. The annual commercial harvest of spanner crabs in Queensland increased rapidly from 1988 to 1994 with fishing effort and catch rates increasing as the fishery expanded into previously unexploited areas. Since 1999, the fishery has been subject to a Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) in management area A, divided between the licensed operators by way of Individual Transferable Quota units. The current TACC of 1727 tonnes has been in effect since June 2002. The present TACC setting decision rules are based on performance criteria derived from commercial catch rates. However, there is concern about the reliability of fishery-dependent catch rates as indicators of stock abundance, partly because the stock is not uniformly distributed, resulting in fishers targeting aggregations of crabs. In response to these management concerns and the high value of the fishery (approximately $10million), spanner crabs were included in the monitoring program.
The objectives of the spanner crab monitoring component of this program are to obtain fishery-independent catch-per-unit-effort data, record length frequency and sex ratio data, identify interactions with species of conservation interest, and monitor bycatch composition.
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Other Long Term Monitoring Program Report for these species:
Dempster T., Brown I., Jebreen E., Smallwood D., McGilvray J. and Breddin I. (2004). ´Fisheries Long Term Monitoring Program: Spanner Crab Report 2000-2003.´ Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland.
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