Study

Discards from the commercial gillnet fishery for dusky flathead, Platycephalus fuscus, in New South Wales, Australia: spatial variability and initial effects of change in minimum legal length of target species

  • Published source details Gray C.A., Johnson D.D., Young D.J. & Broadhurst M.K. (2004) Discards from the commercial gillnet fishery for dusky flathead, Platycephalus fuscus, in New South Wales, Australia: spatial variability and initial effects of change in minimum legal length of target species. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 11, 323-333.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Set a minimum landing size for commercially fished species

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Set a minimum landing size for commercially fished species

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2001 of three estuaries in the Tasman Sea, Australia (Gray et al. 2004) found that the effect of an increase in the minimum landing size for dusky flathead Platycephalus fuscus varied between estuaries, and there was an increase in the amount of discarded (undersized) flathead in gillnets in one of three estuaries. Catch rate of undersized dusky flathead was similar in the period after the increase in minimum size compared to before in two of the three estuaries (after: 0.05–0.14 fish/100 m, before: 0.04–0.16 fish/100 m) and was higher after in the other (after: 0.46 fish/100 m, before: 0.04 fish/100 m). In addition, no difference was seen in catch rates of commercial-sized flathead across all estuaries (after: 2.6–4.6 fish/100 m net, before: 4.1–4.8 fish/100 m net). Minimum landing size of dusky flathead was increased from 33 cm to 36 cm on 1st July 2001. A total of 81 commercial gillnet catches targeting flathead were sampled by scientific observers before and after the change in minimum size: in February-June and July-November in two estuaries (Wallis Lake and Tuggerah Lake), and in May-June and July-August in another estuary (Lake Illawarra), all in New South Wales. All species caught were identified, counted and the total weight recorded.

    (Summarised by: Rosslyn McIntyre)

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