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

  • Ashley Fowler (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Rowan C. Chick (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Nils Krueck (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • David Fairclough (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Victorian Fisheries Authority (Victorian Fisheries Authority)
  • Timothy Emery (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES))
  • Anthony Roelofs (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Paul Rogers (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Emily Fisher (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)

Date Published: June 2021

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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 depleted and the QLD stock is undefined.  

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Stock status Indicators
Western Australia Western Australia Sustainable

Catch, effort, CPUE, Catch MSY

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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, Bearham et al. 2020].

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, Pseudocaranx wrighti present in all jurisdictions except Queensland and New South Wales, Pseudocaranx dinjerra only present in Western Australia, and Pseudocaranx sp. ‘dentex’ only present in Queensland [Smith-Vaniz and Jelks 2006, Gomon et al. 2008, Bearham et al. 2020]. 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

Western Australia

Commercial catches of Silver Trevallies (likely to be mostly P. georgianus) in Western Australia have remained low (2–10 t) between 2008–09 and 2018–19. Catch rates by line fisheries (the dominant method of capture) have remained low and steady at 0.3–3 kg per block day. This reflects the low level of commercial targeting of this species. Most of the catch is landed as byproduct by commercial line fisheries, including the West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery and open access fishing in the South Coast Bioregion (east of longitude 115°30'E), which focus effort on other demersal species, such as West Australian Dhufish and Snapper. Management regulation of effort in the former fishery limits fishing pressure and catches of Silver Trevallies (along with state-wide recreational regulations such as a minimum legal length and bag limit) [Gaughan and Santoro 2020]. The open access fishery on the south coast is undergoing review to progress it to formal management.

Recreational sector (private boat-based recreational fishers and tour operators) retained catches of Silver Trevallies in Western Australia decreased from ~32 t in 2011–12 to ~18 t in both 2013–14 and 2015–16 and to 15 t in 2017–18, with the majority taken in the West Coast Bioregion (WCB).  Nearly all of the catch of Silver Trevallies (96 per cent in 2017–18) in the WCB is taken by private boat-based fishers, who primarily target demersal species like West Australian Dhufish and Snapper. Line fishing effort by private boat-based fishers in the WCB between 2013–14 and 2017–18 has remained lower than in 2011–12, and relatively steady [Ryan et al. 2019]. Demersal species are currently in recovery, after revision of management regulations between 2008 and 2010, which limit effort and thus catch of species typically caught on boats, possibly including Silver Trevallies [Fairclough et al. 2018]. 

A data-limited Catch-MSY model of the West Australian stock of Silver Trevallies produced an MSY of 66 t (95 per cent CLs 51–92 t) and annual catches have been below this level in almost all years since 1975–76. Although uncertain, annual estimates of B have not fallen below BMSY and indicate an increase to well above this level following a recent extended period of low catches. The estimated stock depletion in 2018 was 0.86 of the unfished level, with the lower 95 per cent CL well above the threshold value of 0.5 associated with MSY. Fishing mortality has been maintained well below the estimated FMSY of 0.29 year-1 since 1975–76. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted and that the current level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired. 

On the basis of the evidence provided above, Silver Trevallies in Western Australia 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 TREVALLIES 13–18 years, 690–938 mm TL 190–200 mm TL 
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Distribution of reported commercial catch of Silver Trevallies. No catch distribution data are provided for Queensland as Silver Trevallies are not distinguished from other trevally species in relevant Queensland commercial fishery logbooks.

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Fishing methods
Western Australia
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Beach Seine
Haul Seine
Hook and Line
Rod and reel
Rod and reel
Management methods
Method Western Australia
Bag limits
Marine park closures
Passenger restrictions
Possession limit
Size limit
Spatial zoning
Fishing gear and method restrictions
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial closures
Bag limits
Possession limit
Size limit
Bag limits
Licence (boat-based sector)
Marine park closures
Possession limit
Size limit
Western Australia
Commercial 2.55t
Charter < 1 t
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational 17 t (± 2 se) (in 2015–16), 23 t (2017–18)

Commonwealth – Commercial (Management Methods/Catch) Data provided for the Commonwealth align with the Commonwealth Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery for the 2018-19 financial year.

Commonwealth – Recreational The Commonwealth 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 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) for more information see https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/traditional-fishing

New South Wales – Recreational (Catch) Murphy et al. [2020].

New South Wales – Indigenous https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/aboriginal-fishing

Victoria – Commercial (catch) Silver trevally (Pseudocaranx georgianus) is not differentiated from other trevallies caught in Victorian commercial fisheries.

Victoria – Indigenous A person who identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is exempt from the need to obtain a Victorian recreational fishing licence, provided they comply with all other rules that apply to recreational fishers, including rules on equipment, catch limits, size limits and restricted areas. Traditional (non-commercial) fishing activities that are carried out by members of a traditional owner group entity under an agreement pursuant to Victoria’s Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 are also exempt from the need to hold a recreational fishing licence, subject to any conditions outlined in the agreement. Native title holders are also exempt from the need to obtain a recreational fishing licence under the provisions of the Commonwealth’s Native Title Act 1993.

Tasmania – Indigenous (management methods) In Tasmania, Indigenous persons engaged in traditional 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. 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” details application procedures for issuing a UIC.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Silver Trevallies - note confidential catch not shown

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Downloadable reports

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