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Yellowtail Kingfish

Seriola lalandi

  • Michael Lowry (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Brett Molony (Department of Fisheries, Western Australia)
  • Malcolm Keag (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Western Australia Western Australia JASDGDLMF, SCEMF, WCDSIMF, WL (SC) Sustainable Catch
JASDGDLMF
Joint Authority Southern Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Managed Fishery (Zone 1 & Zone 2) (WA)
SCEMF
South Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery (WA)
WCDSIMF
West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery (WA)
WL (SC)
Open Access in the South Coast (WA)
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Stock Structure

Yellowtail Kingfish are known to be a highly mobile and wide-ranging species with a distribution extending throughout temperate waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans1. In Australian waters, they are distributed from southern Queensland to the central coast of Western Australia, the east coast of Tasmania, and around Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. There is a higher abundance of Yellowtail Kingfish off the east Australian coast during summer and autumn in response to shelf incursions of the East Australian Current2. Results from the New South Wales gamefish tagging program indicate that Yellowtail Kingfish undertake extensive movements along the north-east coast of Australia and between Australia and New Zealand3. Recent genetic research4 indicated separate east and west coast populations in Australia, but no genetic difference was found between New Zealand fish and eastern (New South Wales) or central (South Australia, Victoria) Australian fish, confirming earlier work that found no evidence of genetic differentiation between New Zealand and New South Wales Yellowtail Kingfish5.

 

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the biological stock level—Eastern Australia and Western Australia.

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Stock Status

Western Australia

In Western Australia, Yellowtail Kingfish makes up a very minor component of commercial and recreational catches. Commercially, catches of Yellowtail Kingfish have been less than 1 t for any of the fishery sectors and total commercial catches for all fisheries have been less than 3 t per year since 1999. Recreational catches of Yellowtail Kingfish have not exceeded 10 t. Yellowtail Kingfish are not targeted by any sector and there is no evidence that catches have fluctuated greatly through time as a result of fishing.

In Western Australia, all species of fish are allocated to a suite for monitoring and assessment purposes. Yellowtail Kingfish are part of the large pelagic resource in Western Australia, which uses Spanish Mackerel, Grey Mackerel and Samsonfish as indicator species10. As the status of each of these indicator stocks is sustainable, then this implies that the Yellowtail Kingfish stock is also sustainable.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Western Australian biological stock is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Yellowtail Kingfish 20+ years; 1900 mm FL  5–10 years; 800–1250 mm FL

Yellowtail Kingfish biology6,7

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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Yellowtail Kingfish

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Tables

Fishing methods
Western Australia
Commercial
Various
Indigenous
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Recreational
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Management methods
Method Western Australia
Commercial
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial closures
Vessel restrictions
Recreational
Bag limits
Licence
Possession limit
Size limit
Spatial closures
Active vessels
Western Australia
2 in JASDGDLMF, 1 in SCEMF, 5 in WCDSCMF, 12, 69 in WL (SC)
JASDGDLMF
Joint Authority Southern Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Managed Fishery (Zone 1 & Zone 2) (WA)
SCEMF
South Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery (WA)
WCDSCMF
West Coast Deep Sea Crustacean Managed Fishery (WA)
WL (SC)
Open Access in the South Coast (WA)
Catch
Western Australia
Commercial 361.60kg in WCDSIMF, 687.00kg in WL (SC)
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational <0.5t, 7.5 (±1.4) t
WCDSIMF
West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery (WA)
WL (SC)
Open Access in the South Coast (WA)

Recreationala Indigenousb–e

 

a The Commonwealth Government does not manage recreational fishing. Recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the states or territory immediately adjacent to those waters, under their management regulations.

b The Commonwealth Government does not manage non-commercial Indigenous fishing (with the exception of the Torres Strait). In general, non-commercial Indigenous fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the states or territory immediately adjacent to those waters. In the Torres Strait both commercial and non-commercial Indigenous fishing is managed by the Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) through the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (Commonwealth), Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (Queensland) and the Torres Strait Regional Authority. The PZJA also manages non-Indigenous commercial fishing in the Torres Strait.

c In Queensland, under the Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld), Indigenous fishers are able to use prescribed traditional and non-commercial fishing apparatus in waters open to fishing. Size and bag limits and seasonal closures do not apply to Indigenous fishers. Further exemptions to fishery regulations can be obtained through permits.

d Aboriginal fishing interim compliance policy (increased bag limits) - allows an Aboriginal fisher in New South Wales to take in excess of a recreational bag limit in certain circumstances, for example, if they are doing so to provide fish to other community members who cannot harvest themselves.

e Aboriginal cultural fishing authority - the authority that indigenous persons can apply for to take catches outside the recreational limits under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (NSW), Section 37 (1)(c1), Aboriginal cultural fishing authority.

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

g Western Australia – Recreational  Boat-based recreational catch from 1 May 2013–30 April 2014.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Yellowtail Kingfish

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Effects of fishing on the marine environment

  • Beyond the removal of fish, there is little evidence to suggest that the fisheries targeting Yellowtail Kingfish impact significantly on benthic or pelagic ecological communities in the area as a whole.
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Environmental effects on Yellowtail Kingfish

  • Climate change and variability have the potential to impact fish stocks in a range of ways, including geographic distribution (for example, latitudinal shifts in distribution). Recent work utilising species distribution models2 have identified sea surface temperature as a significant environmental predictor for Yellowtail Kingfish distributions. Yellowtail Kingfish also show strong seasonal changes in their distribution in response to changes in regional oceanography, namely shelf incursions of the East Australian Current. While it is unclear how climate change may affect risks to sustainability of Yellowtail Kingfish the recent development of species distribution models for Yellowtail Kingfish provide a framework for the quantitative testing of likely scenarios and potentially help to inform strategies to mitigate potential impacts.
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References

  1. 1 Nugroho E, Ferrell DJ, Smith P and Taniguchi N 2001, Genetic divergence of kingfish from Japan, Australia and New Zealand inferred by microsatellite DNA and mitochondrial DNA control region markers, Fisheries Science, 67: 843–850.
  2. 2 Brodie, S, Hobday AJ, Smith J, Everett JD, Taylor MD, Gray CA, Suthers IM 2015, Modelling the oceanic habitats of two pelagic species using recreational fisheries data, Fisheries Oceanography 24(5): 463-477.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fog.12122
  3. 3 Gillanders, BM, Ferrell, DJ and Andrew, NL 2001, Estimates of movement and life-history parameters of yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi): how useful are data from a cooperative tagging programme?, Marine and Freshwater Research, 52: 179–192.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF99153
  4. 4 Miller, PA, Fitch, AJ, Gardner, M, Huston, KS, Mair, G 2011, Genetic population structure of yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) in temperate Australasian waters inferred from microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA,  Aquaculture 319: 328–336.
  5. 5 Smith, A, Pepperell, J, Diplock, JH and Dixon, P 1991, Study suggests NSW Kingfish are one stock, Australian Fisheries, 50(3): 34–36.
  6. 6 Stewart, J, Ferrell, DJ, Van der Walt, B, Johnson, D and Lowry, M 2001, Assessment of length and age composition of commercial kingfish landings, final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, project 1997/126, New South Wales, Fisheries Final Report Series.
  7. 7 Stewart, J and Hughes, JM 2008, Determining appropriate sizes at harvest for species shared by the commercial trap and recreational fisheries in New South Wales, Fisheries Final Report Series.
  8. 8 West LD, Stark KE, Murphy JJ, Lyle JM, Ochwada – Doyle F, 2015, Survey of Recreational  Fishing in New south Wales and the ACT, 2013/14, Fisheries Final Report Series.
  9. 9 Henry, G. W. and Lyle JM, 2003. The National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey. Final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Fisheries Action Program.  Fisheries Final Report Series. Sydney, NSW Fisheries. 48: 188.
  10. 10 Department of Fisheries Western Australia 2011, Resource Assessment Framework (RAF) for finfish resources in Western Australia. Fisheries Occasional Publication No. 85. Department of Fisheries Western Australia, Perth.

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