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Sandbar Shark (2018)

Carcharhinus plumbeus

  • Matias Braccini (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Grant Johnson (Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Northern Territory)
  • Lisa Walton (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Vic Peddemors (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)

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Summary

Sandbar Shark occurs primarily off both the east and west coasts of Australia. The eastern Australian stock is undefined and the Western Australian stock is recovering.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Queensland Eastern Australia ECIFFF Undefined Catch
ECIFFF
East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery (QLD)
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Stock Structure

Sandbar Shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) occurs primarily off both the east and west coasts of Australia, from approximately latitude 17–32°S off the east coast, and latitude 13–36°S off the west coast [Last and Stevens 2009, McAuley et al. 2007]. The species is also encountered off the northern Australian coast, although in much lower numbers. In addition to genetic analysis that suggests limited gene flow between eastern and western Sandbar Shark stocks [Portnoy et al. 2010], there are limited recorded catches in the Gulf of Carpentaria and southern Australia. Thus, the species is considered to be represented by separate Eastern and Western biological stocks in Australian waters.

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

In New South Wales, whaler sharks (Carcharhinus spp.), including Sandbar Shark, have historically not been adequately identified and reported at a species level in commercial catch data. However, observer data indicate that Sandbar Shark represents the largest single-species component of catches in the Ocean Trap and Line Fishery (New South Wales), at 35 per cent of the overall shark catch between 2008 and 2009 [Macbeth et al. 2009]. Since the introduction of new logbooks in 2009, fishers are required to report all landed sharks to species level with improved reliability of species identification following development of a species identification guide and at-sea education via an observer program [Macbeth et al. 2018]. However, insufficient information is available to determine status for any of the whaler shark species in New South Wales, including Sandbar Shark [Rowling et al. 2010]. The net fishery component of the East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery (Queensland) contributes minimal quantities (less than 1 t per year since 2011) to the overall eastern Australian harvest of Sandbar Shark. There is insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Eastern Australia biological stock is classified as an undefined stock.

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Biology

Sandbar Shark biology [Geraghty et al. 2013, McAuley et al. 2007, McAuley et al. 2006]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Sandbar Shark 30–40 years, 1 660 mm FL, 2 150 mm TL Females: 16.2 years, 1 360 mm FL Males: 13.8 years, 1 270 mm FL
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Sandbar Shark
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Tables

Fishing methods
Queensland
Commercial
Hook and Line
Net
Recreational
Hook and Line
Management methods
Method Queensland
Charter
Gear restrictions
Possession limit
Size limit
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Possession restrictions
Processing restrictions
Spatial closures
Total allowable catch
Vessel restrictions
Recreational
Gear restrictions
Possession limit
Size limit
Active vessels
Queensland
0 in ECIFFF
ECIFFF
East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery (QLD)
Catch
Queensland
Indigenous Unknown but likely to be negligible
Recreational Unknown but likely to be negligible

Western Australia – Recreational (Management methods) A recreational fishing from boat licence is required for recreational fishing from a powered vessel in Western Australia.

Queensland – Indigenous Under the Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld), Indigenous fishers in Queensland are able to use prescribed traditional and non-commercial fishing apparatus in waters open to fishing. Size and possession limits, and seasonal closures do not apply to Indigenous fishers. Further exemptions to fishery regulations may be applied for through permits.

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

New South Wales commercial fisheries with less than seven active fishers are not presented due to the Privacy Act.

Recreational and Indigenous (catch) Given the offshore distribution of Sandbar Shark, near-shore catches are likely to be negligible.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Sandbar Shark - note confidential catch not shown
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References

  1. Braccini, M, Hesp, A, Molony, B and Blay, N in prep Resource Assessment Report Whiskery, Gummy, Dusky and Sandbar Shark Resource of Western Australia. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
  2. Geraghty PT, Macbeth, WG, Harry, AV, Bell, JE, Yerman, MN and Williamson, JE 2013, Age and growth parameters for three heavily exploited shark species off temperate eastern Australia, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 71: 559–573.
  3. Last, PR and Stevens, JD 2009, Sharks and rays of Australia, 2nd edn, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
  4. Macbeth, WG, Butcher, PA, Collins, D, McGrath, SP, Provost, SC, Bowling, AC, Geraghty, PT and Peddemors, VM 2018, Improving reliability of species identification and logbook catch reporting by commercial fishers in an Australian demersal shark longline
  5. Macbeth, WG, Geraghty, PT, Peddemors, VM and Gray, CA 2009, Observer-based study of targeted commercial fishing for large shark species in waters off northern New South Wales, Fisheries final report series 114, Industry and Investment New South Wales, Cronulla.
  6. Marshall L, Giles, J and Johnson, GJ 2016, Catch composition of a traditional Indonesian shark fishery operating in the MOU Box, northwestern Australia: Results of shark fin identification from Operation Snapshot (May 2015), Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.
  7. McAuley, R and Rowland, F 2012, Northern Shark Fisheries status report, in WJ Fletcher and K Santoro (eds), Status reports of the fisheries and aquatic resources of Western Australia 2011/12, Western Australian Department of Fisheries, Perth, 222–227.
  8. McAuley, R, Braccini, M, Newman, SJ and O’Malley, J 2015, Temperate Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Fisheries Status Report, in WJ Fletcher and K Santoro (eds), Status Reports of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Western Australia 2014/15, Western Australian Department of Fisheries, Perth, 261–272.
  9. McAuley, R, Lenanton, R, Chidlow, J, Allison, R and Heist, E 2005, Biology and stock assessment of the Thickskin (Sandbar) Shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, in Western Australia and further refinement of the Dusky Shark, Carcharhinus obscurus, stock assessment, final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, project 2000/134, Fisheries research report 151, Western Australian Department of Fisheries, Perth.
  10. McAuley, RB, Simpfendorfer, CA and Hall, NG 2007, A method for evaluating the impacts of fishing mortality and stochastic influences on the demography of two long-lived shark stocks, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64: 1710–1722.
  11. McAuley, RB, Simpfendorfer, CA, Hyndes, GA and Lenanton, RCJ 2007, Distribution and reproductive biology of the Sandbar Shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, (Nardo, 1827) in Western Australian waters, Marine and Freshwater Research, 58: 116–126.
  12. McAuley, RB, Simpfendorfer, CA, Hyndes, GA, Allison, RR, Chidlow, JA, Newman, SJ and Lenanton, RCJ 2006, Validated age and growth of the sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo, 1827) in the waters off Western Australia, Environmental Biology of Fishes, 77: 385–400.
  13. Portnoy, DS, McDowell, JR, Heist, EJ, Musick, JA and Graves, JE 2010, World phylogeography and male-mediated gene flow in the Sandbar Shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, Molecular Ecology, 19: 1994–2010.
  14. Rowling, KA, Hegarty, A and Ives, M 2010, Status of fisheries resources in NSW 2008/09, Industry and Investment New South Wales, Cronulla.

Archived reports

Click the links below to view reports from other years for this fish.