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AUSTRALIAN SALMONS

Arripis trutta, Arripis truttaceus, Arripis trutta & Arripis truttaceus

  • John Stewart (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Anthony Fowler (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • James Andrews (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victoria)
  • Jeremy Lyle (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Kim Smith (Department of Fisheries, Western Australia)
  • Timothy Emery (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania Eastern Australia EGF, OHF, CIF, GLF, OF, OPSF, PPBF, SF Sustainable Catch, catch rates, size composition, fishing mortality
Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia Western Australia SCSMF, WCBBFNMF, SWCSMF, WL (SC), CIF, GLF, OF, OPSF, PPBF, LCF, MF, MSF, NZRLF, SZRLF Sustainable Fishing mortality, catch, effort, catch rates
CIF
Corner Inlet Fishery (VIC)
EGF
Estuary General Fishery (NSW)
GLF
Gippsland Lakes Fishery (VIC)
LCF
Lakes and Coorong Fishey (SA)
MF
Miscellaneous Fishery (SA)
MSF
Marine Scalefish Fishery (SA)
NZRLF
Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (SA)
OF
Ocean Fishery (VIC)
OHF
Ocean Hauling (NSW)
OPSF
Ocean Purse Seine Fishery (VIC)
PPBF
Port Phillip Bay Fishery (VIC)
SCSMF
South Coast Salmon Managed Fishery (WA)
SF
Scalefish Fishery (TAS)
SZRLF
Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (SA)
WCBBFNMF, SWCSMF, WL (SC)
West Coast (Beach Bait Fish Net) Managed Fishery, South West Coast Salmon Managed Fishery, Open Access in the South Coast (WA)
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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 stock1. 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 Australian Salmon) and southwards by the East Australian Current (Eastern Australian Salmon). The fish then grow and mature 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 Australian and Eastern Australian.

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Stock Status

Western Australia

This cross-jurisdictional biological stock has components in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. Each jurisdiction assesses that 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 Western Australia, total commercial landings were relatively stable from the commencement of the fishery in the 1940s until approximately 2004. A sharp decline occurred between 2004 and 20112. Catches were at historically low levels from 2011–15. Since 2004, fishing effort has followed a similar downward trend, as a result of weak market demand and low wholesale prices (landings in Western Australia are mainly sold as bait). These catch and effort declines mainly reflect changes in the south coast fishery, where the majority of annual landings occur. Total commercial fishing effort directed towards Australian Salmon in Western Australia is currently very low compared with historical levels, and the reduction in effort accounts for most of the catch decline since 2004. Estimates of current fishing mortality are lower than estimates of natural mortality3. Since the breeding component of this stock resides exclusively in Western Australia, with only immature/non-breeding fish occurring in South Australia and Victoria, the above evidence indicates that the spawning biomass of the stock is unlikely to be recruitment overfished.

For the South Australian part of the biological stock, total commercial landings have declined markedly since the mid-1990s. However, commercial effort has declined similarly. The current commercial fishing effort directed towards Western Australian Salmon in South Australia is very low compared with historical levels, and although variable, catch rates have not decreased4. This evidence indicates that the current level of fishing pressure by the South Australian fishery is unlikely to cause the biological stock to become recruitment overfished.

For the Victorian part of the biological stock, total commercial landings are very low compared with those in other states and compared with the quantity of Eastern Australian Salmon landed in Victoria (9.6 tonnes [t] in 2015). The low commercial landings of this species relative to the catches taken by other jurisdictions indicate that the current level of fishing pressure by the Victorian fishery is low. The above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished.

Very low levels of fishing effort are currently directed towards Western Australian Salmon across all jurisdictions. The above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing pressure across each jurisdiction is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Western Australian biological stock is classified as a sustainable stock.

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.

For the New South Wales part of the biological stock, 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 fish in commercial landings have remained similar since the late-1970s5. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this part of the stock is unlikely to be recruitment overfished. Australian 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 are similar to estimates of natural mortality5. The above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause this part of the stock to become recruitment overfished.

For the Victorian part of the biological stock, commercial landings have varied between 200 and 730 t annually, with a peak in 2007 and 2012. The annual catch in 2015 was relatively low (211 t) compared with 2012 (more than 730 t). The most recent assessment of this part of the stock indicates that, until 2011, there was little change in the size and age composition of fish in landings5. Little information is available after this time. However, the fishery continues to target mainly adolescent fish and the level of effort has remained steady. The above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing pressure for the Victorian component of the Eastern Australian Salmon biological stock is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished.

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 20156. 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 Australian Salmon, and a large number of smaller vessels which target the species on an opportunistic basis or take them as by-product, 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 2 years, catch and effort for this sector has been at historically low levels, reflecting shifts in targeting species and low market demand for Eastern Australian Salmon as Rock Lobster bait rather than changes in abundance6. The current level of commercial and recreational fishing pressure in Tasmania is well below historical levels and unlikely to cause the biological stock to become recruitment overfished.

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

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Biology

Australian Salmon biology5,7

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
AUSTRALIAN SALMONS Eastern Australian Salmon (Arripis trutta): 12 years; 810 mm FL  Western Australian Salmon (A. truttaceus): 12 years; 850 mm FL Eastern Australian Salmon: 2–4 years; 300–400 mm FL Western Australian Salmon: 3–5 years; 600–650 mm FL
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Australian Salmon

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Tables

Fishing methods
Western Australia New South Wales Victoria Tasmania South Australia
Commercial
Various
Haul Seine
Haul Seine/Beach Seine
Purse Seine
Line
Mesh Net
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Gillnet
Beach Seine
Recreational
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Gillnet
Indigenous
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Management methods
Method Western Australia New South Wales Victoria Tasmania South Australia
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial zoning
Trip limits
Vessel restrictions
Indigenous
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Gillnet restrictions
Licence
Section 31 (1)(c1), Aboriginal cultural fishing authority
Size limit
Spatial closures
Recreational
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Licence
Size limit
Spatial closures
Active vessels
Western Australia New South Wales Victoria Tasmania South Australia
9 in SCSMF, 5 in SWCBNF 54 in EGF, 23 in OHF, 12 in OTF, 22 in OTLF 15 in CIF, 7 in GLF, 12 in OF, 26 in PPBF 37 in SF 11 in LCF, 69 in MSF, 2 in NZRLF, 4 in SZRLF
CIF
Corner Inlet Fishery (VIC)
EGF
Estuary General Fishery (NSW)
GLF
Gippsland Lakes Fishery (VIC)
LCF
Lakes and Coorong Fishey (SA)
MSF
Marine Scalefish Fishery (SA)
NZRLF
Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (SA)
OF
Ocean Fishery (VIC)
OHF
Ocean Hauling (NSW)
OTF
Ocean Trawl Fishery (NSW)
OTLF
Ocean Trap and Line (NSW)
PPBF
Port Phillip Bay Fishery (VIC)
SCSMF
South Coast Salmon Managed Fishery (WA)
SF
Scalefish Fishery (TAS)
SWCBNF
South West Coast Beach Net Fishery (Order) (WA)
SZRLF
Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (SA)
Catch
Western Australia New South Wales Victoria Tasmania South Australia
Commercial 120.38t in SCSMF, 36.84t in WCBBFNMF, SWCSMF, WL (SC) 13.63t in EGF, 1.00Kt in OHF 10.13t in CIF, 360.00kg in GLF, 7.58t in OF, 172.62t in OPSF, 30.14t in PPBF 49.76t in SF 2.59t in LCF, 61.23t in MSF
Indigenous Unknown Unknown None Unknown Unknown
Recreational 6 t 182 t (in 2013/14) Unknown 63.7 t (in 2012/13) 61 t (in 2013/14)
CIF
Corner Inlet Fishery (VIC)
EGF
Estuary General Fishery (NSW)
GLF
Gippsland Lakes Fishery (VIC)
LCF
Lakes and Coorong Fishey (SA)
MSF
Marine Scalefish Fishery (SA)
OF
Ocean Fishery (VIC)
OHF
Ocean Hauling (NSW)
OPSF
Ocean Purse Seine Fishery (VIC)
PPBF
Port Phillip Bay Fishery (VIC)
SCSMF
South Coast Salmon Managed Fishery (WA)
SF
Scalefish Fishery (TAS)
WCBBFNMF, SWCSMF, WL (SC)
West Coast (Beach Bait Fish Net) Managed Fishery, South West Coast Salmon Managed Fishery, Open Access in the South Coast (WA)

a Victoria – Indigenous (management methods) In Victoria, regulations for managing recreational fishing are also applied to fishing activities by Indigenous people. Recognised Traditional Owners (groups that hold native title or have agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 [Vic]) are exempt (subject to conditions) from the requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence, and can apply for permits under the Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic) that authorise customary fishing (for example, different catch and size limits or equipment). The Indigenous category in Table 3 refers to customary fishing undertaken by recognised Traditional Owners. In 2015, there were no applications for customary fishing permits to access Australian Salmon.
b New South Wales – Indigenous (management methods) 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 themselves.
c New South Wales – Indigenous (management methods) Aboriginal cultural fishing authority, the authority that Indigenous persons can apply to take catches outside the recreational limits under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (NSW), Section 37 (1)(c1), Aboriginal cultural fishing authority.
d 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.
e Tasmania – Indigenous (management methods) In Tasmania, aborigines 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, Aborigines must obtain a unique identifying code (UIC). The policy document Recognition of Aboriginal Fishing Activities for issuing a Unique Identifying Code (UIC) to a person for Aboriginal Fishing activity explains the steps to take in making an application for a UIC.
f 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.
g Western Australia – Recreational (catch) Western Australian boat-based recreational catch from 1 May 2013–30 April 20148.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Australian Salmon

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Effects of fishing on the marine environment

  • Except for gillnets, the fishing methods used to target Australian Salmon around Australia are highly selective and targeted. As a result, there is little bycatch in these fisheries2,5,11.
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Environmental effects on AUSTRALIAN SALMONS

  • The life cycles of Western and Eastern Australian Salmon are strongly linked to the prevailing currents throughout their distributions. The East Australian, Leeuwin and Capes Currents appear to influence the distribution of spawning, larval dispersal, the strength and distribution of juvenile recruitment, and the distribution of fishery landings2,12. Environmentally driven changes to these currents may affect recruitment and the distribution and abundance of both species.
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References

  1. 1 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.
  2. 2 Smith K, Quinn A and Holtz M 2015, South coast nearshore and estuarine finfish resources status report. In WJ Fletcher and K Santoro (ed.s), Status reports of the fisheries and aquatic resources of Western Australia 2014–15: State of the fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, Perth, pp 247–257.
  3. 3 Fletcher, WJ and Santoro, K (ed.s) unpublished, Status reports of the fisheries and aquatic resources of Western Australia 201516: State of the fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, Perth.
  4. 4 Fowler, AJ, McGarvey, R, Steer, MA and Feenstra, JE 2015, The South Australian marine Scalefish Fishery—Fishery statistics for 1983–84 to 2014–15, Report to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), SARDI Publication F2007/000565-10, SARDI Research Report Series 882, SARDI, Adelaide.
  5. 5 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.
  6. 6 Emery, TJ, Lyle, JM and Hartman, K 2016, Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery 2014–15, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart.
  7. 7 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.
  8. 8 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.
  9. 9 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.
  10. 10 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.
  11. 11 Lyle, JM, Bell, JD, Chuwen, BM, Barrett, N, Tracey, SR, and Buxton, CD 2014, Assessing the impacts of gillnetting in Tasmania: implications for by-catch and biodiversity, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation project 2010/016, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
  12. 12 Jones, GK and Westlake, M 2003, Australian salmon, herring, sand crab, tube worms and blood worms, Fishery assessment report to PIRSA for the Marine Scalefish Fishery Management Committee, South Australian Fisheries Assessment Series No. 2002/018.

Archived reports

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