Study

A comparison of fish bycatch communities between areas open and closed to prawn trawling in an Australian tropical fishery

  • Published source details Stobutzki I., Jones P. & Miller M. (2003) A comparison of fish bycatch communities between areas open and closed to prawn trawling in an Australian tropical fishery. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 60, 951-966.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit mobile fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species and are dragged across the seafloor

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit mobile fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species and are dragged across the seafloor

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1998 in the Arafura Sea off Australia (Stobutzki et al. 2003) found that in an area closed to bottom (prawn) trawling for five years, abundance, biomass and size of species (fish and invertebrates combined) were typically similar to two open trawled areas. Probability of occurrence was similar in the closed area and a nearby open area for 81–89% of species, and for 74–85% of species between the closed area and a nearby open area and a distant open area. Biomass was similar in the closed area and the nearby open area for 89–94% of species and similar for 85–99% of species in the closed area, the nearby open area and a distant open area. The average size of species was similar between closed and open areas for 39% species. Zero to 9% of species were largest in the closed area and 43–77% in the two open areas. Sampling was done in October 1998 in two regions of a large area (6,648 km2) closed to trawling (types not specified) and in 1983 in an area fished and managed for a commercial prawn species. In each region three areas, one closed to trawling and two open to trawling (near to and distant to the closed area) were sampled by a bottom prawn trawl with 57 mm mesh net and 45 mm mesh codend towed for 0.5 h. Three 6 × 6 nautical mile grids were sampled in each area, with each grid sampled three times in each of four three-day sampling blocks. Full sampling details are provided in the original study.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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