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Snook (2018)

Sphyraena novaehollandiae

  • Bradley Moore (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • John Stewart (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Brett Molony (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Jeremy Lyle (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Mike Steer (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Brent Womersley (Victorian Fisheries Authority)

You are currently viewing a report filtered by jurisdiction. View the full report.

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Summary

Also known as Shortfin Pike, Snook is distributed around southern Australia. Stock status is sustainable in SA, TAS and WA. It is negligible in NSW and undefined in VIC.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
South Australia South Australia NZRLF, MSF Sustainable Catch, effort, CPUE trends
MSF
Marine Scalefish Fishery (SA)
NZRLF
Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (SA)
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Stock Structure

Also known as Shortfin Pike, Snook is distributed around southern Australia from Jurien Bay in Western Australia to southern Queensland, including Tasmania. Snook are usually found over seagrass beds and kelp reefs near the surface both in inshore and offshore waters of up to 20 m [Bertoni 1995, Edgar 2008, Gormon et al. 2008]. There is no information available on the stock structure of Snook in Australian waters.

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the jurisdictional level—Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

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Stock Status

South Australia

The most recent assessment of Snook was completed in 2018 and used data to the end of December 2017 [Steer et al. 2018]. The primary measures for biomass and fishing mortality are targeted catch rates using troll lines and hauling nets. Approximately 25 per cent of the annual catch is targeted using troll lines and hauling nets, with the remaining 75 per cent landed as byproduct when fishers target other, higher-value species. Targeted catch rates for both gear types are typically variable, ranging between 15–30 kg per fisher day and 20–80 kg per fisher day for troll lines and hauling nets, respectively. Total annual commercial catches have declined from a peak of 147 t in 1995 to 39 t in 2017, driven by an 80 per cent reduction in fishing effort. This reduction largely reflects the removal of hauling net fishers through the implementation of a voluntary buy-back scheme and spatial netting closures in 2005 [Steer et al. 2018]. During this time, catch rates have been highly variable, but have not shown any long-term decline. An estimated 126 t of Snook was landed by the recreational sector in 2013/14 [Giri and Hall 2015], and potentially represents the largest source of mortality. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired. Furthermore, 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, Snook in South Australia is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Snook biology [Bertoni 1995, Edgar 2008, Gormon et al. 2008]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Snook 20 years, 1 100 mm TL 420 mm TL 
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Snook
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Tables

Fishing methods
South Australia
Commercial
Trolling
Unspecified
Seine Nets
Recreational
Hook and Line
Trolling
Management methods
Method South Australia
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Spatial closures
Recreational
Bag and possession limits
Bag limits
Size limit
Active vessels
South Australia
110 in MSF, 1 in NZRLF
MSF
Marine Scalefish Fishery (SA)
NZRLF
Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (SA)
Catch
South Australia
Commercial 38.85t in MSF, NZRLF
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational 126.3 (2013–14)
MSF
Marine Scalefish Fishery (SA)
NZRLF
Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (SA)

Western Australia – Recreational (catch) Western Australia boat-based recreational catch from 1 September 2015–30 November 2016. Shore based catches are largely unknown.

Western Australia – Recreational (management methods) In Western Australia, a recreational fishing from boat licence is required to take finfish from a powered vessel.

Victoria – Commercial (catch) Snook is not differentiated from Longfin Pike caught in Victorian commercial fisheries.

Victoria – Indigenous In Victoria, regulations for managing recreational fishing may not apply to fishing activities by Indigenous people. Victorian traditional owners may have rights under the Commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993 to hunt, fish, gather and conduct other cultural activities for their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs without the need to obtain a licence. Traditional Owners that have agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) may also be authorised to fish without the requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence. Outside of these arrangements, Indigenous Victorians can apply for permits under the Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic) that authorise fishing for specific Indigenous cultural ceremonies or events (for example, different catch and size limits or equipment). There were no Indigenous permits granted in 2017 and hence no Indigenous catch recorded.

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.

Tasmania – Commercial (catch) Catches reported for the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery are for the period 1 July to 30 June the following year. The most recent assessment available is for 2016–17.

Tasmania – Indigenous (management methods) In Tasmania, Indigenous persons 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. If using pots, rings, set lines or gillnets, Indigenous fishers must obtain a unique identifying code (UIC). The policy document Recognition of Aboriginal Fishing Activities for issuing a UIC to a person for Aboriginal Fishing activity explains the steps to take in making an application for a UIC.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Snook - note confidential catch not shown
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References

Archived reports

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