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Wavy Periwinkle (2018)

Lunella undulata

  • John Keane (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Corey Green (Victorian Fisheries Authority)
  • Greg Ferguson (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Klaas Hartmann (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Rowan Chick (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)

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Summary

The Wavy Periwinkle is a moderate-sized marine shellfish found in shallow temperate waters of southern Australia. Stock status is sustainable in TAS and SA and negligible in NSW and VIC.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
South Australia South Australia SA Sustainable Catch, catch rate, mean weight
SA
SA Periwinkle Fishery (SA)
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Stock Structure

The Wavy Periwinkle, Lunella undulata, is a moderately sized marine gastropod found on exposed sand-scoured reef and boulder habitat in shallow temperate waters (0–20 m) of southern Australia. They grow to a maximum length of around 65 mm and are distributed from Hopetoun, Western Australia to Coolangatta, Queensland, and around Tasmania [Edgar 2012]. Wavy Periwinkles form large aggregations in shallow coastal waters. The Wavy Periwinkle has a protracted spawning period from October to May, and may undergo incomplete spawning (retain unshed eggs until the next spawning event) [Keane et al. 2014, Underwood 1974]. They have short-term lecithotrophic larvae (planktonic larvae which live off the yolk supplied by the egg), and it is assumed that the larval duration is about five days, similar to other species within the taxon [Underwood 1974]. Stock structure is unknown, however a study into genetic diversity across southern Australia is underway.

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

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Stock Status

South Australia

The South Australian fishery for Wavy Periwinkle has operated since 2001. Fishing occurs throughout the year with product sold on domestic and international markets [PIRSA 2018]. Prior to July 2018, fishing was permitted through Ministerial exemption and is now managed using exploratory and developmental fishing permits. Fishing is restricted to hand collection by a small number of fishers [PIRSA 2018]. Annual catches (confidential) have been stable at a low level for > 10 years. No formal assessment for this fishery has been completed. The primary measures for biomass and fishing mortality are the commercial catch rate (kg per hr) and the mean weight of landed Periwinkles. The commercial catch rate increased in the early years of the fishery to a peak in 2013 and has been stable at a historically high level from 2013 to 2017. Mean weight (g) of landed Periwinkle has been stable throughout the history of the fishery (17 years, 55.5 g). 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, Wavy Periwinkle in South Australia is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Wavy Periwinkle biology [Keane et al. 2014]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Wavy Periwinkle ~ 10 years, 65 mm TL 23–26 mm TL
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Wavy Periwinkle
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Tables

Fishing methods
South Australia
Commercial
Diving
Recreational
Hand collection
Management methods
Method South Australia
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Marine park closures
Recreational
Gear restrictions
Marine park closures
Active vessels
South Australia
1 in SA
SA
SA Periwinkle Fishery (SA)
Catch
South Australia
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational Unknown
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References