Spangled Emperor (2018)
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Spangled Emperor has a wide distribution around Australia. There are eight stocks across WA, the NT, QLD and NSW. In WA three stocks are sustainable and one is recovering. The NT stock is sustainable. In QLD one stock is sustainable and one is undefined. The NSW stock is negligible.
Stock Status Overview
|Northern Territory||Northern Territory||CLF, DF, TRF||Sustainable||Catch, SAFE assessment|
- Coastal Line Fishery (NT)
- Demersal Fishery (NT)
- Timor Reef Fishery (NT)
Spangled Emperor have a widespread Indo-West Pacific distribution, ranging from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and East Africa east to southern Japan in the north, around northern Australia and extending east to Samoa [Carpenter and Allen 1989]. In Australia, Spangled Emperor are found from around Rottnest Island in the lower west coast, around northern Australia to south of Sydney on the east coast [Carpenter and Allen 1989, Carpenter and Niem 2001]. The population structure of Spangled Emperor in Western Australia has been studied by assessing spatial variation in allozymes [Johnson et al. 1993], otolith microchemistry [Moran et al. 1993], tagging and recapture [Moran et al. 1993], DNA micro-satellite markers [Berry et al. 2012], and acoustic telemetry [Pillans et al. 2014]. Individuals generally demonstrate a limited home range of less than three nautical miles [Moran et al. 1993]. Relatively high site fidelity has been shown for at least some individuals in Western Australia and elsewhere [Pillans et al. 2014, Chateau and Wantiez 2008]. Limited mixing of post-settlement individuals is also indicated from an analysis of otolith microchemistry of Spangled Emperor sampled from different sites [Moran et al. 1993].
Genetic studies have demonstrated homogeneous genetic characteristics across broad spatial scales (10–1 500 km) throughout its Western Australian distribution [Johnson et al. 1993]. Analysis of fine scale patterns using high resolution micro-satellite markers, however, has found that juveniles exhibit fine scale genetic autocorrelation, which declines with age [Berry et al. 2012]. This implies both larval cohesion and limited juvenile dispersal prior to maturity, primarily in the vicinity of the Ningaloo Marine Park [Berry et al. 2012]. Hydrodynamic modelling indicated that Spangled Emperor larvae were likely to be transported hundreds of kilometres, easily accounting for the observed gene flow, despite relatively restricted adult dispersal [Berry et al. 2012]. As such, Spangled Emperor are considered to comprise a single biological stock in at least Western Australia. However, there is limited mixing of adult Spangled Emperor. Further, management arrangements are mediated in a way that harmonises with the spatial patterns of exploitation. This indicates that in Western Australia, Spangled Emperor comprise separate management units.
There is a high likelihood that these population characteristics (extensive gene flow, limited adult movement) are shared across each of the jurisdictions. Low genetic subdivision between northwest Western Australia and the Great Barrier Reef suggests gene flow is likely to be high between these regions [Berry et al. 2012]. There is possibly one genetic stock in Australia, however, improved stock delineation is required in jurisdictions outside of Western Australia.
Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—West Coast, Gascoyne, Pilbara, Kimberley (Western Australia); Gulf of Carpentaria, East Coast (Queensland); and New South Wales; and at the jurisdictional level—Northern Territory.
Only small catches are reported from the Coastal Line, Demersal and Timor Reef fisheries. Because Spangled Emperor are only an incidental catch in these fisheries and catches by recreational fishers are likely to be very small (< 1 t), a semi-quantitative sustainable assessment for fishing effects model [Zhou and Griffiths 2008] was used to assess the fishing mortality rate on this species, using data up to 2015. The model results indicated that there is a low risk of Spangled Emperor being overfished at current levels of harvest, as there is a very low overlap of the fisheries activity and their distribution in Northern Territory waters. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired; and 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, Spangled Emperor in the Northern Territory is classified as a sustainable stock.
Spangled Emperor biology [Currey et al. 2013, DAF unpublished data, Marriott et al. 2010, 2011]
|Species||Longevity / Maximum Size||Maturity (50 per cent)|
|Spangled Emperor||31 years: 707 mm FL (WA) 24 year:, 810 mm FL and 8.9kg (east coast Queensland/GBR)||3.6 years: 350 mm FL|
Distribution of reported commercial catch of Spangled Emperor
|Hook and Line|
|Total allowable catch|
|Bag and possession limits|
|Commercial||138.00kg in CLF, 183.20kg in DF, 1.03t in TRF|
- Coastal Line Fishery (NT)
- Demersal Fishery (NT)
- Timor Reef Fishery (NT)
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).
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.
Western Australia – Commercial (catch) Catch is unavailable as there were fewer than three vessels in the Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery, Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery and West Coast Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline (Interim) Managed Fishery.
Western Australia – Active Vessels Data is confidential as there were fewer than three vessels in the Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery, Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery and West Coast Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline (Interim) Managed Fishery.
Western Australia – Commercial (management methods) Spangled Emperor forms part of the combined Total Allowable Commercial Catch for other mixed demersal species in the GDSMF.
Queensland The reporting period for the commercial component of the Coral Reef Fin Fish Fishery (Queensland) is financial year (2016–17).
Queensland – Commercial (fishing methods) Spangled Emperor is trawled in only one of the Queensland fisheries in which it is caught commercially - the Gulf of Carpentaria Developmental Fin Fish Trawl Fishery
Queensland – Indigenous (management methods) 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.
Northern Territory — Charter (management methods) In the Northern Territory, charter operators are regulated through the same management methods as the recreational sector, but are subject to additional limits on license and passenger numbers.
Northern Territory – Indigenous (management methods) The Fisheries Act 1988 (NT), specifies that “…without derogating from any other law in force in the Territory, nothing in a provision of this Act or an instrument of a judicial or administrative character made under it limits the right of Aboriginals who have traditionally used the resources of an area of land or water in a traditional manner from continuing to use those resources in that area in that manner”.
Commercial catch of Spangled Emperor - note confidential catch not shown
- Moran, M, Edmonds, J, Jenke, J, Cassells and G, Burton, C, 1993, Fisheries biology of emperors (Lethrinidae) in north-west Australian coastal waters. Final Report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) on Project No. 89/20. Fisheries Department, Perth, Western Australia. 58p.
- (Family Lethrinidae). FAO Fisheries synopsis No. 125, Vol. 9. Rome: FAO, 126 pp.
- Berry, O, England, P, Marriott, RJ, Burridge, CP and Newman SJ 2012, Understanding age-specific dispersal in fishes through hydrodynamic modelling, genetic simulations and microsatellite DNA analysis. Molecular Ecology, 21, 2145–2159, doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05520.x.
- Carpenter, KE and Allen, GR 1989, FAO Species Catalogue. Emperor Fishes and Large-Eyed Breams of the World
- Carpenter, KE and Niem VH (eds.) 2001, FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 5. Bony fishes part 3 (Menidae to Pomacentridae). Rome, FAO, pp. 2791–3380.
- Chateau, O and Wantiez, L 2008, Human impacts on residency behaviour of spangled emperor, Lethrinus nebulosus, in a marine protected area, as determined by acoustic telemetry. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 88, 825–829.
- Currey, LM, Williams, AJ, Mapstone, BD, Davies CR, Carlos G, Welch DJ, Simpfendorfer, CA, Ballagh, AC, Penny, AL, Grandcourt, EM, Mapleston, A, Wiebkin AS and Bean K 2013, Comparative biology of tropical Lethrinus species (Lethrinidae): challenges for multi-species management. Journal of Fish Biology, 82: 764–788.
- FISHERIES REGULATION 1995 (1998)
- Gaughan, DJ and Santoro K, (eds.) 2018, 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.
- Johnson, MS, Hebbert, DR, Moran, MJ, 1993, Genetic analysis of populations of north-western Australian fish species. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 44: 673–685.
- Marriott, RJ, Adams, DJ, Jarvis NDC, Moran, MJ, Newman SJ, Craine M, 2011, Age-based demographic assessment of fished stocks of spangled emperor, Lethrinus nebulosus in the Gascoyne Bioregion of Western Australia. Fisheries Management and Ecology 18 (2): 89-103.
- Marriott, RJ, Jarvis, NDC, Adams, DJ, Gallash, AE, Norriss, J and Newman SJ, 2010, Maturation and sexual ontogeny in the spangled emperor Lethrinus nebulosus. Journal of Fish Biology, 76 (6): 1396–1414. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02571.x
- Newman, SJ, Brown, JI, Fairclough, DV, Wise, BS, Bellchambers, LM, Molony, BW, Lenanton, RCJ, Jackson, G, Smith, KA, Gaughan, DJ, Fletcher, WJ, McAuley and RB, 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.
- 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.
- Pillans, RD, Bearham, D, Boomer, A, Downie, R, Patterson, TA, Thomson, DP and Babcock, RC 2014. Multi-year observations reveal variability in residence of a tropical demersal fish, Lethrinus nebulosus: Implications for spatial management. PLoS ONE, 9(9), e105507.
- Ryan, KL, Hall, NG, Lai, EK, Smallwood, CB, Taylor, SM and 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.
- Webley, J, McInnes, K, Teixeira, D, Lawson, A and Quinn, R 2015, Statewide Recreational Fishing Survey 2013–14, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
- 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, Wollongong.
- Zhou, S and Griffiths SP, 2008, Sustainability Assessment for Fishing Effects (SAFE): A new quantitative ecological risk assessment method and its application to elasmobranch bycatch in an Australian trawl fishery. Fisheries Research, 91(1): 56–68.
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