TIGER PRAWNS (2020)
Penaeus esculentus, Penaeus semisulcatus
Date Published: June 2021
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Tiger Prawn stocks in the Commonwealth, NT, WA and QLD are sustainable. There is one negligible stock in NSW.
Stock Status Overview
|Queensland||East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (Brown and Grooved Tiger Prawn)||Sustainable||
Biomass estimate, catch rate, catch, effort
The standard name ‘Tiger Prawn’ refers to the species Penaeus esculentus, Penaeus semisulcatus and Penaeus japonicus. Only P. esculentus (Brown Tiger Prawn) and P. semisulcatus (Grooved Tiger Prawn) are considered in this chapter; P. japonicus is not caught commercially in Australian waters.
Brown Tiger Prawns are endemic to tropical and subtropical waters of Australia, while Grooved Tiger Prawns have a wider Indo–West Pacific distribution. There is some genetic evidence of separation of Brown Tiger Prawn stocks from the east and west coasts of Australia [Ward et al. 2006].
Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—Northern Prawn Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn) , Northern Prawn Fishery (Grooved Tiger Prawn) (Commonwealth); Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn) (Jointly managed); Shark Bay Prawn Managed Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn), Exmouth Gulf Prawn Managed Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn) (Western Australia), North Coast Prawn Managed Fisheries (Brown Tiger Prawn) (Western Australia; East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (Brown and Grooved Tiger Prawn) (Queensland); and at the jurisdictional level—New South Wales (Brown Tiger Prawn).
East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (Brown and Grooved Tiger Prawn)
The most recent stock assessment, using a weekly delay-difference analysis of catch and effort data up to 2013 financial year, estimated the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) for Tiger Prawns in the north and south Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) regions and for the Brown Tiger Prawn in Moreton Bay to be 1 107 tonnes (t), 728 t and 197 t, respectively [Wang et al. 2015]. Catches from these regions are estimated to have been above MSY levels prior to 2000, reducing spawning stock biomass to 80–90 per cent of estimated BMSY, [Wang et al. 2015], although still well above a 0.2BMSY limit. The assessment is due to be updated in 2020–21. Average catches over 2000 to 2012 declined by 69 per cent to well below MSY levels. Catches have increased since, and have been below MSY in the south GBRMP region since 2000; in the north GBRMP region since 2007; and in Moreton Bay from 2007 with the exception of 2017 when the catch exceeded MSY by 23 per cent [QFISH 2020].
Since 2000, nominal annual catch rates have generally increased in high abundance grids in north and south GBRMP regions as well as in Moreton Bay, indicating increasing biomass. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired.
Prior to 2000, Tiger Prawn fishing effort levels in Queensland were at an historic high, averaging above 40 000 days per year [Larcombe et al. 2018]. From 2000–07, a 35 per cent decline in Tiger Prawn fishing effort occurred as a result of structural adjustment of the Queensland East Coast Trawl fleet, following expansion of GBRMP no-fishing zones; as well as due to adverse weather and economic conditions [Larcombe et al. 2016]. Since 2007, total Tiger Prawn effort has been consistently below the 2000–06 annual average of 29 826 days. Average annual fishing effort on the stock has increased by 8 per cent since 2009, but effort levels are still well below those required to achieve MSY (EMSY) in the north and south GBRMP region [QFISH 2020]. From 2005, Tiger Prawn effort in Moreton Bay has been below EMSY [QFISH 2020].
The GBRMP ecological risk assessment found that overfishing risk was low for Brown Tiger Prawn, but was intermediate for Grooved Tiger Prawn at 2009 Tiger Prawn effort levels [Pears et al. 2012]. The Southern East Coast Trawl Fishery ecological risk assessment found that the overfishing risk for Brown Tiger Prawn south of the GBRMP was low at 2009 effort levels [Jacobsen et al. 2018]. This level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause the stocks within the management unit to become recruitment impaired.
On the basis of the evidence provided above, the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (Queensland) Brown and Grooved Tiger Prawn management unit is classified as a sustainable stock.
Brown and Grooved Tiger Prawn biology [Somers 1987, Yearsley et al. 1999, Kangas et al. 2015 a,b]
|Species||Longevity / Maximum Size||Maturity (50 per cent)|
|TIGER PRAWNS||1–2 years, 55 mm CL||East Coast: ~6 month, 32–39 mm CL West coast: ~6 months, 27–35 mm CL Northern Australia: ~6 months, 32–39 mm CL|
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. 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); the 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.
Queensland – Indigenous (management methods) for more information see https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/traditional-fishing
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