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Black Jewfish (2018)

Protonibea diacanthus

  • Shane Penny (Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Northern Territory)
  • Robyn Lovett (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Fabian Trinnie (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Stephen Newman (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)

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Summary

Black Jewfish is a sustainable species in WA and recovering from overfishing in the NT. Stocks in QLD are undefined, with limited information available.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Western Australia Western Australia KGBMF, NBPMF, PFTIMF, PLF Sustainable Catch
KGBMF
Kimberley Gillnet and Barramundi Managed Fishery (WA)
NBPMF
Nickol Bay Prawn Managed Fishery (WA)
PFTIMF
Pilbara Fish Trawl (Interim) Managed Fishery (WA)
PLF
Pilbara Line Fishery (WA)
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Stock Structure

Black Jewfish is a widespread Indo-Pacific species found from Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia, north and east across Northern Australia, to the east coast of Queensland. The stock structure for this species has been investigated in the north-western part of its range from the western Gulf of Carpentaria to its southern extent along the west Australian coastline [Saunders et al. 2016]. The results indicated that separate stocks exist at the scale of tens of kilometres [Saunders et al. 2016]. However, it is extremely difficult to collect relevant biological and catch and effort information to assess each of these individual fine-scale biological stocks, although this fine-scale stock structure is an explicit consideration for fishery managers. Due to the logistic and operational constraints of the relevant monitoring, assessment and management agencies, assessment is only feasible at the jurisdictional level. This assumes that the assessment of stock status within a jurisdictional assessment unit is relevant to all biological stocks within that assessment unit.

Here assessment of stock status is presented at the jurisdictional level—Western Australia, Northern Territory; and at the management unit level—Gulf of Carpentaria and Queensland East Coast (Queensland).

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Stock Status

Western Australia

Black Jewfish are not a target species in the Kimberley Gillnet and Barramundi Managed Fishery of Western Australia but are landed in small quantities as by-product [Newman et al. 2018a]. They have also been landed in very small quantities as by-product in the Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery, the Nickol Bay Prawn Managed Fishery and the Pilbara Line Fishery. The total commercial catch in Western Australia in 2017 was approximately 3.2 tonnes (t). Black Jewfish catches have only been reported from a small area of their range in Western Australia. They are landed by charter fishers, primarily in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, in small quantities. Furthermore, Barramundi has been classified as a sustainable stock in the Kimberley Gillnet and Barramundi Managed Fishery (Western Australia) management unit. Barramundi is an indicator species [see Newman at al. 2018b] for the North Coast Nearshore and Estuarine Resource. Given, the status of Barramundi as an indicator species, there is an associated low level of risk associated with the biological sustainability of all species harvested in the North Coast Nearshore and Estuarine Resource. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired.

Given the low level of take, 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, Black Jewfish in Western Australia is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Black Jewfish biology [Phelan 2002, Welch et al. 2014]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Black Jewfish 15 years, 1 500 mm TL, 30 kg Northern Territory: 2 years, TL  890 mm
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Black Jewfish
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Tables

Fishing methods
Western Australia
Commercial
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Gillnet
Otter Trawl
Unspecified
Charter
Handline
Indigenous
Handline
Recreational
Handline
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
Indigenous
Laws of general application
Recreational
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Licence (Recreational Fishing from Boat License)
Possession limit
Size limit
Spatial closures
Active vessels
Western Australia
22 in Charter, 4 in KGBMF, <3 in NBPMF, <3 in PFTIMF, 3 in PLF
Charter
Tour Operator (WA)
KGBMF
Kimberley Gillnet and Barramundi Managed Fishery (WA)
NBPMF
Nickol Bay Prawn Managed Fishery (WA)
PFTIMF
Pilbara Fish Trawl (Interim) Managed Fishery (WA)
PLF
Pilbara Line Fishery (WA)
Catch
Western Australia
Commercial 3.24t in KGBMF, NBPMF, PFTIMF, PLF
Charter 0.40 t
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational 0.70 t ± 0.19 t se
KGBMF
Kimberley Gillnet and Barramundi Managed Fishery (WA)
NBPMF
Nickol Bay Prawn Managed Fishery (WA)
PFTIMF
Pilbara Fish Trawl (Interim) Managed Fishery (WA)
PLF
Pilbara Line Fishery (WA)

Western Australia – Recreational (Catch) Boat-based recreational catch if 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 Licence 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 AustraliaActive Vessels Data is confidential as there were fewer than three vessels operating in the Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery.

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 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”.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Black Jewfish - note confidential catch not shown
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References

  1. Grubert, MA, Saunders, TM, Martin, JM, Lee, HS and Walters, CJ 2013, Stock Assessments of Selected Northern Territory Fishes, Fishery report no. 110, Northern Territory Fisheries.
  2. 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.
  3. Newman, SJ, Mitsopoulos, G, Skepper, C and Smith, E 2018, North Coast Nearshore and Estuarine Resource Status Report 2017. pp. 123-126. 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.
  4. Northern Territory Government 2017, Status of key Northern Territory Fish Stocks Report 2015, Northern Territory Government Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Fishery Report 118.
  5. Phelan, M 2008, Assessment of the implications of target fishing on Black Jewfish (Protonibea diacanthus) aggregations in the Northern Territory, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation project 2004/004, fishery report 91, Northern Territory Fisheries.
  6. Phelan, MJ 2002, Fishery biology and management of the Black Jewfish Protonibea squamosa (Sciaenidiae) aggregations near Injinoo community, Far Northern Cape York. Stage 1: Initial characterisation of the aggregations and associated fishery, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation project 98/135, Department of Primary Industries, Queensland and Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation, Cairns.
  7. Roelofs, AJ 2003, Ecological Assessment of the Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Finfish Fishery - A report to Environment Australia on the sustainable management of a multi-species tropical gillnet fishery, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  8. 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. 
  9. Saunders, TM, Welch, D, Barton, D, Crook, D, Dudgeon, C, Hearnden, M, Maher, S, Ovenden, J, Taillebois, L and Taylor J 2016, Optimising the management of tropical coastal reef fish through the development of Indigenous capability. FRDC final report 2013/017.
  10. Taillebois, L, Barton, DP, Crook, DA, Saunders, T, Taylor, J, Hearnden, M, Saunders, RJ, Newman, SJ, Travers, MJ, Welch, DJ, Greig, A, Dudgeon, C, Maher, S and Ovenden, JR 2017, Strong population structure deduced from genetics, otolith chemistry and parasite abundances explains vulnerability to localized fishery collapse in a large Sciaenid fish, Protonibea diacanthus, Evolutionary Applications, vol. 10, no. 10, pp. 978–993.
  11. 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.
  12. Welch, DJ, Robins, J, Saunders, T, Courtney, T, Harry, A, Lawson, E, Moore, BR, Tobin, A, Turnbull, C, Vance, D and Williams, AJ 2014, Implications of climate change impacts on fisheries resources of northern Australia. Part 2: Species profiles, final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, project 2010/565, James Cook University, Townsville.

Archived reports

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