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Mangrove Jack (2018)

Lutjanus argentimaculatus

  • Joanne Langstreth (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Thor Saunders (Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Northern Territory)
  • Fabian Trinnie (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Jeffrey Murphy (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Stephen Newman (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)

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Summary

The long-lived Mangrove Jack is classified as sustainable stock in WA, recovering in the Gulf of Carpentaria and undefined in the NT and East Coast QLD. Stock status is negligible in NSW.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Western Australia Western Australia GDSMF, NDSMF, PFTIMF, PLF, PTMF Sustainable Catch
GDSMF
Gascoyne Demersal Scalefish Managed Fishery (WA)
NDSMF
Northern Demersal Scalefish Managed Fishery (WA)
PFTIMF
Pilbara Fish Trawl (Interim) Managed Fishery (WA)
PLF
Pilbara Line Fishery (WA)
PTMF
Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery (WA)
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Stock Structure

Mangrove Jack are a long lived (> 50 years), late maturing species that can reach a length of over 1 m [Russell et al. 2003]. They are broadly distributed throughout the tropical and sub-tropical Indo-West Pacific [Allen 1985] and exhibit a biphasic life history pattern, where juveniles spend several years in freshwater and estuarine habitats before migrating offshore as they near sexual maturity, and have been reported to a depth of at least 175 m [Pradella et al. 2013]).

The distribution of this species within Australian waters extends from approximately Perth, Western Australia, around the north of the continent to Sydney, New South Wales [Pember et al. 2005, Russell et al. 2003]. Genetic analyses indicate that Mangrove Jack consist of a single biological stock across its Australian range [Russell et al. 2003]. This level of mixing is consistent with a life history that involves offshore spawning by adults. However, Mangrove Jack experience moderate to high harvest rates in some Australian fisheries (particularly those targeting adults of this long-lived species) which can cause localised depletion. While juvenile fish have been shown to migrate from freshwater and estuarine habitats to offshore reef environments, often with a movement component of up to 335 km [Russell et al. 2003], once these ontogenetic movements have occurred there have been no reports of adult fish undertaking extensive movements, although studies are limited. As such, limited evidence of adult movement in combination with evidence of different stock status in different regions indicates that Mangrove Jack likely comprise separate management units.

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level―Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria and East Coast Queensland; and at the jurisdictional level―Western Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales.

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Stock Status

Western Australia

Mangrove Jack are landed primarily on the north-west coast of Western Australia as a component of the multispecies Pilbara Demersal Scalefish Fisheries (PDSF: which includes the Pilbara Fish Trawl (Interim) Managed Fishery; the Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery; and the Pilbara Line Fishery) in the Pilbara management region of the North Coast Bioregion; and the Northern Demersal Scalefish Managed Fishery (NDSMF) in the Kimberley management region of the North Coast Bioregion of Western Australia [Newman et al. 2018a]. Mangrove Jack are assessed on the basis of the status of several indicator species (including, for example, Red Emperor and Goldband Snapper in the Kimberley region) that represent the entire inshore demersal suite of species occurring at depths of 30–250 m [Newman et al. 2018b]. The major performance measures for these indicator species are estimates of spawning stock levels. The target level of spawning biomass is 40 per cent of the unfished level. The limit level is 30 per cent of the estimate of initial spawning biomass [DPIRD 2017]. Indicator species assessments using an integrated age structured model determined that the spawning biomass levels of each of the indicator species in the PDSF were either greater than the target level or between the target and the threshold level in 2015 (the year the last integrated assessment was undertaken). The spawning biomass levels of the indicator species were either greater than the target level or between the target level and the threshold level in the NDSMF in 2014 [Newman et al. 2018a]. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired.

The catch of Mangrove Jack in the PDSF has been low and stable for the past five years (2013–17), ranging from 8.8–12.3 tonnes (t), with a mean annual catch of 10.1 t. The catch of Mangrove Jack in the NDSMF has been low and stable for the past five years (2013–17), ranging from 0.6–1.7 t, with a mean annual catch of 1.3 t. The above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, Mangrove Jack in Western Australia is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Mangrove Jack biology [Pember et al. 2005, Piddocke et al. 2015, Russell et al. 2003]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Mangrove Jack 57 years, 1 019 mm FL Male: ≥ 7 years, 450 mm F L Female: ≥ 8 years, 510 mm FL
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Mangrove Jack

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Tables

Fishing methods
Western Australia
Commercial
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Otter Trawl
Unspecified
Fish Trap
Charter
Hook and Line
Indigenous
Hook and Line
Recreational
Hook and Line
Management methods
Method Western Australia
Charter
Bag limits
Limited entry
Passenger restrictions
Possession limit
Size limit
Spatial zoning
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial closures
Spatial zoning
Temporal closures
Vessel restrictions
Recreational
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Licence (Recreational Fishing from Boat License)
Possession limit
Size limit
Spatial closures
Active vessels
Western Australia
34 in Charter, 4 in GDSMF, 6 in NDSF, <3 in PFTIMF, 6 in PLF, <3 in PTMF, <3 in WL (NC || GC || WC)
Charter
Tour Operator (WA)
GDSMF
Gascoyne Demersal Scalefish Managed Fishery (WA)
NDSF
Northern Demersal Scalefish Fishery (WA)
PFTIMF
Pilbara Fish Trawl (Interim) Managed Fishery (WA)
PLF
Pilbara Line Fishery (WA)
PTMF
Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery (WA)
WL (NC || GC || WC)
Open Access in the North Coast, Gascoyne Coast and West Coast Bioregions (WA)
Catch
Western Australia
Commercial 10.76t in GDSMF, NDSMF, PFTIMF, PLF, PTMF
Charter 1.72 t
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational 2.24 t ± 0.593 se
GDSMF
Gascoyne Demersal Scalefish Managed Fishery (WA)
NDSMF
Northern Demersal Scalefish Managed Fishery (WA)
PFTIMF
Pilbara Fish Trawl (Interim) Managed Fishery (WA)
PLF
Pilbara Line Fishery (WA)
PTMF
Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery (WA)

Western Australia Active Vessels data is unreportable as there were fewer than three vessels operating in Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery and Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery.

Western Australia – Recreational (Catch) Boat-based recreational catch is from 1 September 2015–31 August 2016. These data are derived from those reported in Ryan et al. [2017]. Shore based catches of Mangrove Jack are not known.

Western Australia – Recreational (management methods) A Recreational Fishing from Boat License is required for the use of a powered boat to fish or to transport catch or fishing gear to or from a land-based fishing location.

Western Australia – 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 recreational fishing licence, the non-commercial take by Indigenous fishers is covered by the same arrangements as that for recreational fishing.

Northern Territory Recreational Catch from West et al. [2012].

Queensland Commercial catch from 1 July 2016–30 June 2017.

Queensland – Recreational (catch) Survey of Queensland residents only from August 2013–October 2014 [Webley et al. 2015].

Queensland – Indigenous Under the Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld), Indigenous fishers in Queensland are entitled 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.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Mangrove Jack - note confidential catch not shown
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References

  1. DPIRD 2017, North Coast demersal scalefish resource harvest strategy 2017–2021. Version 1.0. Fisheries Management Paper No. 285. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Government of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. 35p.
  2. FAO species catalogue, volume 6, snappers of the world. FAO Fisheries Synopsis 125.
  3. Newman, SJ, Brown, JI, Fairclough, DV, Wise, BS, Bellchambers, LM, Molony, BW, Lenanton, RCJ, Jackson, G, Smith, KA, Gaughan, DJ, Fletcher, WJ, McAuley, RB and Wakefield, CB 2018, A risk assessment and prioritisation approach to the selection of indicator species for the assessment of multi-species, multi-gear, multi-sector fishery resources. Marine Policy, 88: 11–22.
  4. Newman, SJ, Wakefield, C, Skepper, C, Boddington, D, Jones, R and Smith, E 2018. North Coast Demersal Resource Status Report 2017. pp. 127–133. In: Gaughan, D.J. and Santoro, K. (eds.). Status Reports of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Western Australia 2016/17: The State of the Fisheries. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, Perth, Australia. 237p.
  5. O’Neill, MF, Leigh, GM, Martin, JM, Newman, SJ, Chambers, M, Dichmont, CM and Buckworth, RC 2011, Sustaining productivity of tropical red snappers using new monitoring and reference points, The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Brisbane, Queensland.
  6. Pember MB, Newman SJ, Hesp SA, Young GC, Skepper CL, Hall NG and Potter IC 2005, Biological parameters for managing the fisheries for Blue and King Threadfins, Estuary Rockcod, Malabar Grouper and Mangrove Jack in north-western Australia. Final Report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) on Project No. 2002/003. Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, Australia. 172p.
  7. Piddocke, TP, Butler, GL, Butcher, PA, Stewart, J, Bucher, DJ and Christidis, L 2015, Age and growth of mangrove red Snapper Lutjanus argentimaculatus at its cool-water-range limits, Journal of Fish Biology, 86, 1587–1600.
  8. Pradella, N, Fowler, AM, Booth, DJ, Macreadie, PI 2013. Fish assemblages associated with oil industry structures on the continental shelf of north-western Australia. Journal of Fish Biology, 84(1): 247–255.
  9. Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries 2018, Queensland Stock Status Assessment Workshop Proceedings 2018. Species Summaries. 19–20 June 2018, Brisbane.
  10. Russell, DJ, McDougall, AJ, Fletcher, AS, Ovenden, JR and Street, R 2003, Biology, management and genetic stocks structure of mangrove jack (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) in Australia. FRDC Project Number 1999/122, Department of Primary Industries, Queensland and the Fisheries Research Development Corporation, Brisbane.
  11. Ryan KL, Hall NG, Lai EK, Smallwood CB, Taylor SM, Wise BS 2017, Statewide survey of boat-based recreational fishing in Western Australia 2015/16. Fisheries research Report No. 287. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Government of Western Australia, Perth. 
  12. Webley, J, McInnes, K, Teixeira, D, Lawson, A, Quinn, R 2015, Statewide Recreational Fishing Survey 2013–14, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  13. West, LD, Lyle, JM, Matthews, SR and Stark, KE 2012, A survey of recreational fishing in the Northern Territory, 2009–10, Fishery report 109, Northern Territory Government Department of Resources, Darwin.