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AUSTRALIAN SALMONS (2018)

Arripis trutta, Arripis truttaceus

  • John Stewart (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Anthony Fowler (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Corey Green (Victorian Fisheries Authority)
  • Jeremy Lyle (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Kim Smith (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Bradley Moore (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)

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Summary

Stocks of Australian Salmon are sustainable. There are two species, each with a single biological stock stretching across state boundaries. Western Australian Salmon are found in WA, SA and VIC. Eastern Australian Salmon are found in NSW, VIC and TAS.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
New South Wales Eastern Australia OHF Sustainable Age and size composition, catch, effort, catch rates, fishing mortality
OHF
Ocean Hauling Fishery (NSW)
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Stock Structure

There are two species of Australian Salmon: Western Australian Salmon (Arripis truttaceus) and Eastern Australian Salmon (A. trutta). Each species represents a single biological stock [MacDonald, 1983]. The Western Australian Salmon biological stock is distributed from Kalbarri in Western Australia southwards to South Australia, Victoria and the west coast of Tasmania. The Eastern Australian Salmon biological stock is distributed from southern Queensland down the east coast of Australia to western Victoria and Tasmania. Both species have spawning areas that allow eggs and larvae to be dispersed by the prevailing currents—southwards and then eastwards by the Leeuwin Current (Western Australia Salmon) and southwards by the East Australian Current (Eastern Australia Salmon). The fish then grow and mature in higher latitude waters before moving back towards their spawning areas which occur at the northern (up-current) parts of their distributions.

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the biological stock level—Western Australia and Eastern Australia.

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Stock Status

Eastern Australia

This cross-jurisdictional biological stock has components in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Each jurisdiction assesses the part of the biological stock that occurs in its waters. The status presented here for the entire biological stock has been established using evidence from all jurisdictions.

In New South Wales, commercial landings are influenced largely by market demands. Annual landings have varied substantially since the mid-1990s in response to these demands. Catch rates (median catch per day hauling) have increased steadily during the past decade and are at historically high levels. The size and age compositions of Eastern Australia Salmon in commercial landings have remained similar since the late-1970s, noting that the most recent sampling was done during 2008–09 [Stewart et al. 2011]. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this part of the stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired. Eastern Australia Salmon in northern New South Wales are lightly fished commercially as fishing in this area is restricted to servicing the commercial bait market with an annual catch limit of 224 t in place. Estimates of overall fishing mortality were similar to estimates of natural mortality during 2008–09 [Stewart et al. 2011] and recent landings have declined. The above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause this part of the stock to become recruitment impaired.

In Victoria, Australian Salmon are taken in the Ocean Fishery, Gippsland Lakes Fishery and Corner Inlet Fishery. Total commercial landings have varied between 210 and 745 t annually, with a peak in 2007 and 2012. The annual catch in 2017 was relatively low (321 t) compared with 2012 (around 730 t). Catch is also taken in the Ocean Purse Seine Fishery but not stated due to confidentiality. The most recent assessment of the Victorian component of this stock indicates that since 2007 catch per unit effort has been sustained well above the reference limit [VFA 2017, Stewart et al. 2011]. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this part of the stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired. The above evidence also indicates that the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause this part of the stock to become recruitment impaired.

For the Tasmanian part of the biological stock, the most recent assessment investigated catch and effort (but not biomass) up to the end of June 2017 [Moore et al. 2018]. There are two distinct sectors in the commercial fishery: a small number of large vessels specifically equipped to capture and store large quantities of Eastern Australia Salmon, and a large number of smaller vessels which target the species on an opportunistic basis or take them as byproduct, usually in small quantities. Typically, the majority of the landings (more than 85 per cent) have been caught by the large vessel sector using beach seine methods. However, during the last four years, catch and effort for this sector has been at historically low levels, reflecting shifts in targeting species and low market demand for Eastern Australia Salmon rather than changes in abundance. In the 2017 fishing year the total catch of Australian Salmon in Tasmanian State waters was 18.9 t [Moore et al. 2018]. The current level of commercial and recreational fishing pressure in Tasmania is well below historical levels. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this part of the stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired. The above evidence also indicates that the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause this part of the stock to become recruitment impaired.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the entire Eastern Australia biological stock is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Australian Salmon biology [Kailola et al. 1993, Stewart et al. 2011]
Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
AUSTRALIAN SALMONS Western Australia Salmon 12 years, 850 mm FL Eastern Australia Salmon 12 years, 810 mm FL Western Australia Salmon 3–5 years, 600–650 mm FL Eastern Australia Salmon 2–4 years, 300–400 mm FL
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Australian Salmon
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Tables

Fishing methods
New South Wales
Commercial
Haul Seine
Purse Seine
Unspecified
Seine Nets
Charter
Handline
Indigenous
Handline
Recreational
Handline
Management methods
Method New South Wales
Charter
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Licence
Marine park closures
Possession limit
Spatial closures
Commercial
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Marine park closures
Spatial closures
Vessel restrictions
Indigenous
Bag limits
Native Title
Section 37 (1d)(3)(9), Aboriginal cultural fishing authority
Recreational
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Licence
Marine park closures
Possession limit
Spatial closures
Active vessels
New South Wales
49 in EGF, 18 in OHF, 7 in OTF, 17 in OTLF
EGF
Estuary General Fishery (NSW)
OHF
Ocean Hauling Fishery (NSW)
OTF
Ocean Trawl Fishery (NSW)
OTLF
Ocean Trap and Line Fishery (NSW)
Catch
New South Wales
Commercial 749.87t in OHF
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational 182 t (in 2013–14)
OHF
Ocean Hauling Fishery (NSW)

Western Australia – Recreational (Catch) Boat-based recreational catch estimated in 2015–16 [Ryan et al. 2017]; shore-based catch not estimated.

New South Wales – Recreational (Catch) West et al. [2015] estimate of 73 535 fish retained by New South Wales residents with the average weight retained being approximately 2.5 kg [New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Unpublished data].

New South Wales – Indigenous (Management Methods) (a) Aboriginal Cultural Fishing Interim Access Arrangement—allows an Indigenous fisher in New South Wales to take in excess of a recreational bag limit in certain circumstances; for example, if they are doing so to provide fish to other community members who cannot harvest for themselves; (b) The Aboriginal cultural fishing authority is the authority that Indigenous persons can apply to take catches outside the recreational limits under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (NSW), Section 37 (1d)(3)(9), Aboriginal cultural fishing authority; and (c) In cases where the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) applies fishing activity can be undertaken by the person holding native title in line with S.211 of that Act, which provides for fishing activities for the purpose of satisfying their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs. In managing the resource where native title has been formally recognised, the native title holders are engaged with to ensure their native title rights are respected and inform management of the State's fisheries resources.

Victoria – Indigenous (Management Methods) In Victoria, regulations for managing recreational fishing may not apply to fishing activities by Indigenous people. Victorian traditional owners may have rights under the Commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993 to hunt, fish, gather and conduct other cultural activities for their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs without the need to obtain a licence. Traditional Owners that have agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) may also be authorised to fish without the requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence. Outside of these arrangements, Indigenous Victorians can apply for permits under the Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic) that authorise fishing for specific Indigenous cultural ceremonies or events (for example, different catch and size limits or equipment). There were no Indigenous permits granted in 2017 and hence no Indigenous catch recorded.

Tasmania – Commercial (Catch) Catches reported for the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery are for the period 1 July to 30 June the following year. The most recent assessment available is for 2016–17.

Tasmania – Recreational (Management Methods) In Tasmania, a recreational licence is required for fishers using dropline or longline gear, along with nets, such as gillnet or beach seine. A minimum size limit of 200 mm total length is in place for Australian Salmon in Tasmanian waters. A bag limit of 15 individuals and a possession limit of 30 individuals is in place for recreational fishers.

Tasmania – Indigenous (Management Methods) In Tasmania, Indigenous persons engaged in aboriginal fishing activities in marine waters are exempt from holding recreational fishing licences, but must comply with all other fisheries rules as if they were licensed. Additionally, recreational bag and possession limits also apply. If using pots, rings, set lines or gillnets, Indigenous fishers must obtain a unique identifying code (UIC). The policy document Recognition of Aboriginal Fishing Activities for issuing a UIC to a person for Aboriginal Fishing activity explains the steps to take in making an application for a UIC.

Tasmania – Indigenous Subject to the defence that applies under Section 211 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), and the exemption from a requirement to hold a Victorian recreational fishing licence, the non-commercial take by Indigenous fishers is covered by the same arrangements as that for recreational fishing.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Australian Salmon - note confidential catch not shown (The stock ‘Western Australia’ comprises three jurisdictions. The stock ‘Eastern Australia’ comprises three jurisdictions.)

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References

  1. Cappo M, Walters and CJ, Lenanton RJ 2000, Estimation of rates of migration, exploitation and survival using tag recovery data for western Australian “salmon” (Arripis truttaceus: Arripidae: Percoidei). Fisheries Research, 44: 207–217.
  2. Giri, K and Hall, K 2015, South Australian recreational fishing survey 2013–14. Fisheries Victoria internal report series no. 62, Victorian Government, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Melbourne.
  3. Kailola, PM, Williams, MJ, Stewart, PC, Reichelt, RE, McNee, A and Grieve, C 1993, Australian fisheries resources, Bureau of Resource Sciences and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra.
  4. MacDonald, CM 1983, Population, taxonomic and evolutionary studies on marine fishes of the genus Arripis (Perciformes: Arripidae). Bulletin of Marine Science, 33(3): 780–780.
  5. Moore, BR, Lyle, JM and Hartman, K 2018, Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery 2016/17, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart.
  6. Ryan, KL, Hall, NG, Lai, EK, Smallwood, CB, Taylor, SM and Wise, BS 2015, State-wide survey of boat-based recreational fishing in Western Australia 2013–14. Fisheries research report no. 268, Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, Perth.
  7. Steer MA, Fowler AJ, McGarvey R, Feenstra J, Westlake EL, Matthews D, Drew M, Rogers PJ and Earl J 2018, Assessment of the South Australian Marine Scalefish Fishery in 2016. Report to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2017/000427-1. SARDI Research Report Series No. 974. Pp 250.
  8. Stewart, J, Hughes, JM, McAllister, J, Lyle, J and MacDonald, M 2011, Australian salmon (Arripis trutta): population structure, reproduction, diet and composition of commercial and recreational catches, Fisheries Final Report Series 129, Industry and Investment New South Wales, Sydney.
  9. Victorian Fisheries Authority 2017, Review of key Victorian fish stocks—2017. Victorian Fisheries Authority Science Report Series No. 1.
  10. West, LD, Stark, KE, Murphy, JJ, Lyle, JM and Ochwada-Doyle, FA 2015, Survey of recreational fishing in New South Wales and the ACT, 2013–14, Fisheries Final Report Series 149, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Sydney.
  11. Wise, BS and Molony, BW (Eds). 2018, Australian Herring and West Australian Salmon Scientific Workshop Report, October 2017. Fisheries Research Report No. 289 Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia. 158pp.

Archived reports

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