MORETON BAY BUGS (2020)
Thenus parindicus, Thenus australiensis, Thenus spp.
Date Published: June 2021
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Reef Bug and Mud Bug, collectively known as Moreton Bay Bugs, are sustainable species distributed along the tropical and subtropical coast of Australia.
Stock Status Overview
|Western Australia||Western Australia||Sustainable||
Reef Bug (Thenus australiensis) and Mud Bug (Thenus parindicus) are known collectively as ‘Moreton Bay Bugs’. Moreton Bay Bugs are distributed along the tropical and subtropical coast of Australia from northern New South Wales to Shark Bay in Western Australia [George and Griffin 1972]. No studies have been carried out on the biological stock structure of Australian Moreton Bay Bugs. The two species have overlapping distributions; may be trawled together; are undifferentiated in the catch; and are assessed together.
Given the uncertainty in biological stock structure, here assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—Northern Prawn Fishery, Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth) and East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (Queensland); and the jurisdictional level—Western Australia.
No formal stock assessment exists for Moreton Bay Bugs in Western Australia. Moreton Bay Bugs are not targeted in Western Australia, but are landed as occasional byproduct species of prawn and scallop trawl fisheries, so fishing effort directed at them is low. At 10 t in 2019, the combined Western Australian fisheries landings of Moreton Bay Bugs are low, but within the historical catch range. Combined fishery landings have been at or below 10 t eight out of ten years since 2009. The spatial coverage of Western Australian fisheries that retain Moreton Bay Bugs is limited, compared with the large area across which Moreton Bay Bugs are distributed in north-western Western Australia. Substantial Moreton Bay Bug biomass is protected within the extensive network of fishery closures in place from Shark Bay to Napier Broome Bay [Gaughan and Santoro (eds) 2020]. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted, that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired, and 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, Moreton Bay Bug in Western Australia is classified as a sustainable stock.
Moreton Bay Bug biology [Courtney 1997, Jones 1988]
|Species||Longevity / Maximum Size||Maturity (50 per cent)|
|MORETON BAY BUGS||~7 years T. australiensis: Males 106 mm CW, Females 124 mm CW T. parindicus: Males 87 mm CW, Females 103 mm CW||T. australiensis: Female 82 mm CW T. parindicus: Female 75 mm CW|
Commonwealth – Recreational 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.
Commonwealth – Indigenous 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.
Queensland – Indigenous (management methods) for more information see https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/traditional-fishing
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