Pseudocaranx georgianus, Pseudocaranx sp. "dentex" & Pseudocaranx wrighti, Pseudocaranx dinjerra

  • Ashley Fowler (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Rowan Chick (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Bradley Moore (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • David Fairclough (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Brent Womersley (Victorian Fisheries Authority)
  • Lee Georgeson (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences)
  • Luke Albury (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Paul Rogers (South Australian Research and Development Institute)

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Silver Trevally inhabits estuarine and coastal waters throughout southern temperate Australia. Of the seven separate Australian stocks, five (in WA, SA, VIC, TAS and the Commonwealth) are sustainable. The NSW stock is depleting and the QLD stock is undefined.  

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Commonwealth Commonwealth SESSF (CTS) Sustainable Catch, CPUE
Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (Commonwealth Trawl Sector) (CTH)
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Stock Structure

Silver Trevallies comprises a complex of species that inhabits estuarine and coastal waters (depths of 10–230 m) throughout southern temperate Australia, from southern Queensland, south through New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and southern and central Western Australia [Smith-Vaniz and Jelks 2006].

The biological stock structure of Silver Trevallies is uncertain. Fisheries are based on a species complex that varies by region, with Pseudocaranx georgianus present in all jurisdictions except Queensland, P. wrighti present in all jurisdictions except Queensland and New South Wales, P. dinjerra only present in Western Australia, and P. sp. ‘dentex’ only present in Queensland [Smith-Vaniz and Jelks 2006, Gomon et al. 2008]. There have been no investigations of potential genetic structure within these species. Investigations of population connectivity and post-settlement movement are also limited. Despite fast swimming ability, tag-recapture studies in Western Australia, New South Wales and New Zealand indicate restricted post-settlement movement of P. georgianus, potentially leading to ecological stock structuring over moderate (hundreds of kilometres) spatial scales [James 1980, Fairclough et al. 2011, Fowler et al. 2018].

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

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Stock Status


Catch in the Commonwealth Trawl and Scalefish Hook sectors (assumed to be P. georgianus) was 55 tonnes (t) in 2017–18. All of the catch in 2017–18 was taken in the trawl sector.

A tier 4 (catch per unit effort [CPUE]) assessment was undertaken in 2017 [Haddon and Sporcic 2017]. The assessment used the reference period 1992–2001 and excluded data from historical catches taken within the Batemans Marine Park. The assessment shows a rapid decline in CPUE from 1990, to be near the limit reference point of 20 per cent of unfished biomass by 2000. The CPUE then increased to 2010, when it was above the target, but has since declined and appears relatively flat and stable between the limit and the target [Haddon and Sporcic 2017]. The assessment produced a one year recommended biological catch (RBC) of 445 t. There is no truncation in port-based or onboard-based catch length frequency data evident in recent Commonwealth catches [Thomson et al. 2016]. Since 1991, when reliable records begin, catches have been well below the RBCs produced by the 2013 and 2017 assessments, and below the recent TACs (which are based on the 2013 assessment). For the 2017–18 fishing season a TAC of 613 t was set.

The above evidence indicates that the stock is unlikely to be depleted and the current level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired. Despite this evidence, it needs to be acknowledged that the Commonwealth stock may form part of the same biological stock as the New South Wales stock. Given that the New South Wales stock is classified as depleting, based on estimates of total fishing mortality exceeding natural mortality, and the ongoing truncation in age and length classes, the ability to determine status classification for Silver Trevallies in the Commonwealth is increasingly uncertain and may change in future depending on the outcomes of stock structure studies and revised assessments. Currently, in the absence of evidence for the Commonwealth stock to suggest otherwise, Silver Trevallies in the Commonwealth is classified as a sustainable stock.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, Silver Trevallies in the Commonwealth is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Silver Trevallies biology [Rowling and Raines 2000]

Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Silver Trevally 13–18 years, 690–938 mm TL 190–200 mm TL 
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Distribution of reported commercial catch of Silver Trevallies

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Fishing methods
Danish Seine
Otter Trawl
Management methods
Method Commonwealth
Fishing gear and method restrictions
Limited entry
Spatial closures
Total allowable catch
Commercial 51.75t in SESSF (CTS)
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational Unknown
Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (Commonwealth Trawl Sector) (CTH)

Commonwealth – Recreational The Australian Government does not manage recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters. Recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the state or territory immediately adjacent to those waters, under its management regulations. Commonwealth – Indigenous The Australian Government does not manage non-commercial Indigenous fishing in Commonwealth waters, with the exception of the Torres Strait. In general, non-commercial Indigenous fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the state or territory immediately adjacent to those waters. Western Australia – Recreational (management methods) In Western Australia, a licence is required to recreationally fish from a powered vessel.

Western Australia – Recreational (Catch) Shore based catches are unknown, thus landings would be underestimated.

Queensland – Indigenous (management methods) 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 possession limits, and seasonal closures do not apply to Indigenous fishers. Further exemptions to fishery regulations may be applied for through permits.

New South Wales – Indigenous (a) The Aboriginal Cultural Fishing Interim Access Arrangement allows an Indigenous 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; (b) The Aboriginal cultural fishing authority is the authority that Indigenous persons can apply to take catches outside the recreational limits under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (NSW), Section 37 (1d)(3)(9), Aboriginal cultural fishing authority; and (c) In cases where the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) applies fishing activity can be undertaken by the person holding native title in line with S.211 of that Act, which provides for fishing activities for the purpose of satisfying their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs. In managing the resource where native title has been formally recognised, the native title holders are engaged with to ensure their native title rights are respected and inform management of the State's fisheries resources.

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. The species is subject to a minimum size of 20 cm in Tasmanian waters. A bag limit of 10 individuals and a possession limit of 20 individuals is in place for recreational fishers.

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. Additionally, recreational bag and possession limits also apply. 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 Silver Trevallies - note confidential catch not shown

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  16. Rogers, P.J, Tsolos, A, Boyle, M and Steer, M 2017, Data summary South Australian Charter Boat Fishery. Final Report to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture. 25 pp.
  17. Rowling, KR and Raines, LP 2000, Description of the biology and an assessment of the fishery for silver trevally Pseudocaranx dentex off New South Wales, Final Report to Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Project 97/125, NSW Fisheries Final Report Series No. 24, NSW Fisheries, Cronulla.
  18. 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, Western Australia.
  19. ShelfRAG 2013, Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery Shelf Resource Assessment Group (ShelfRAG), minutes, 25–27 September 2013, Tasmania. ShelfRAG, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.
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Downloadable reports

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