Southern Calamari (2020)
Date Published: June 2021
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Stocks of Southern Calamari are considered to be sustainable in SA, VIC and NSW waters, while the stock in TAS is considered to be depleting. In Commonwealth waters, the stock is negligible.
Stock Status Overview
|New South Wales||New South Wales||Sustainable||Catch, effort, CPUE trends|
The biological structure of populations across the distributional range of Southern Calamari is complex and potentially dynamic. One study using allozyme markers identified three genetic types with overlapping distributions and possible stocks off Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania (data were not available for Victoria) [Triantafillos and Adams 2001]. In contrast, another study using microsatellite markers found little genetic differentiation between seven study sites in Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia [Smith et al. 2015]. The same study identified Tasmania as a possibly important site for gene flow. Life history dynamics and studies of movement and statolith microchemistry in Tasmania suggest some localised population structuring [Pecl et al. 2011]. In the absence of conclusive evidence on biological stock boundaries, assessment of stock status is presented at the jurisdictional level—Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
New South Wales
In New South Wales, Southern Calamari is taken primarily as a byproduct species in the commercial Ocean Trawl Fishery (OTF), particularly by the fish trawl sector off the central and southern coasts [Hall 2015]. Total commercial landings in New South Wales were consistently above 50 t per annum until the mid-2000s, with a peak of 145 t in 1997–98 [Hall 2018]. There was a considerable decrease in catches in 2006–07, and for the past 13 years, commercial catches have been lower at around 30–50 t per annum [Hall 2020].
Recreational anglers and charter boat operators in New South Wales also take significant quantities of Southern Calamari in estuaries, bays and inshore ocean waters, but often for bait rather than consumption and at much lower levels than in southern states [Hall 2018]. The most recent estimate of the recreational harvest of Southern Calamari in NSW was approximately 15 247 squid or around 8.5 t during 2017–18 [Murphy et al. 2020]. This estimate was based on a survey of Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) Households, comprised of at least one fisher possessing a long-term (1 or 3 years duration) fishing licence and any other fishers resident within their household. The equivalent estimated recreational harvest in 2013–14 was 14 per cent smaller at around 13 087 squid [Murphy et al. 2020]. A survey of Aboriginal cultural fishing in the Tweed River catchment identified squid as a common component of marine invertebrate catches [Schnierer and Egan 2016]; however, the annual statewide Aboriginal harvest of Southern Calamari in New South Wales is unknown.
The reduced commercial landings in recent years have resulted from a concurrent decrease in effort in the prawn and fish trawl sectors of the OTF from 8 116 and 3 402 days fished, respectively, in 1997–98 to 995 and 1 045 days fished in 2018–19 [Hall 2020]. Standardised catch rates for the two sectors indicate differing historical trends, with mean monthly CPUE (catch-per-unit-effort in kg per day) for the fish trawl sector increasing by over 80 per cent in the early 1990s to a distinct peak of 57.4 kg per day in 1998, followed by a rapid decline by over 50 per cent until 2002. Since then catch rates have been more stable above or near the long-term average of 26.6 kg per day [Hall 2020]. Catch rates in the prawn trawl sector show an opposing historical trend, with monthly CPUE decreasing by over 80 per cent in the early 1990s and remaining below the long-term average since. This sector has always reported lower catches and catch rates, because fishing occurs in the northern extremity of the species' distribution. Populations and catches in northern New South Wales are most likely to be impacted by any southwards range shift in response to climate change [Pecl and Jackson 2008].
While there is possible localised depletion in northern New South Wales, which should be investigated further, the above evidence indicates that the biomass is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired. Furthermore, the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired.
On the basis of the evidence provided above, Southern Calamari in New South Wales is classified as a sustainable stock.
Southern Calamari biology [Pecl 2001, Pecl et al. 2004, Triantafillos 2004]
|Species||Longevity / Maximum Size||Maturity (50 per cent)|
|Southern Calamari||< 1 year, 550 mm ML, 3–4 kg||3–6 months; 150–200 mm ML|
Distribution of reported commercial catch of Southern Calamari
|New South Wales|
|Hook and Line|
|Hook and Line|
|Hook and Line|
|Method||New South Wales|
|Section 37 (1d)(3)(9), Aboriginal cultural fishing authority|
|New South Wales|
|Charter||1 445 squid (2018-19)|
|Recreational||15 247 squid (2017-18)|
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.
New South Wales – Recreational (catch totals) Estimate from Murphy et al. , based on a survey of Recreational Fishing Licence households.
New South Wales – Indigenous (Management Methods) https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/aboriginal-fishing).
Victoria – Indigenous (Management Methods) 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 – Commercial (catch) Catches reported for the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery are for the period 1 July to 30 June the following year. The most recent (complete) assessment available is for 2018/19.
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. 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 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. For details, see the policy document "Recognition of Aboriginal Fishing Activities” (https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/Policy%20for%20Aboriginal%20tags%20and%20alloting%20an%20UIC.pdf).
Commercial catch of Southern Calamari - note confidential catch not shown
- Conron, SD, Bell, JD, Ingram, BA and Gorfine, HK 2020, Review of key Victorian fish stocks — 2019, Victorian Fisheries Authority Science Report Series No. 15, First Edition, November 2020. VFA: Queenscliff. 176pp
- Ewing, G, Forbes, E, Lyle, J, Krueck, N, Pecl, G and Tracey, S 2020, Where do Calamari spawn in Northern Tasmania and how will this information aid the management of the Calamari fishery in Northern Tasmania? Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Tasmania.
- Giri, K, Hall K 2015, South Australian recreational fishing survey. Fisheries Victoria Internal Report Series No. 62.
- Green, CP 2015, Jigging for Science—Defining the spawning needs of calamari in Port Phillip Bay. Recreational Fishing Grants Program research report, Vic DPI, Melbourne.
- Haddon M and Punt A 2018, simpleSA: A package containing functions to facilitate relatively simple stock assessments. R package version 0.1.10.
- Hall, KC 2015, Southern calamari (Sepioteuthis australis), In: J Stewart, A Hegarty, C Young, AM Fowler, and J Craig (ed.s), Status of fisheries resources in NSW 2013–14, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Mosman, pp 310–313.
- Hall, KC 2018, Status of Australian Fish Stocks 2018–NSW Stock status summary–Southern Calamari (Sepioteuthis australis), NSW Department of Primary Industries, Coffs Harbour.
- Hall, KC, 2020, Status of Australian Fish Stocks 2020 - NSW Stock status summary – Southern Calamari (Sepioteuthis australis). NSW Department of Primary Industries, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia.
- Krueck, N., Hartmann, K., Lyle, J. Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Assessment 2018/19
- Lyle, JM, Stark, KE, Ewing, GP and Tracey, SR 2019, 2017-18 Survey of recreational fishing in Tasmania. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Tasmania.
- Moore, B, Lyle, J and Hartmann, K 2019, Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery assessment 2017/18, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
- Murphy, JJ, Ochwada-Doyle, FA, West, LD, Stark, KE and Hughes, JM, 2020, The NSW Recreational Fisheries Monitoring Program - survey of recreational fishing, 2017/18. Fisheries Final Report Series No. 158.
- Pecl, G 2001, Flexible reproductive strategies in tropical and temperate Sepioteuthis squids, Marine Biology, 138: 93–101.
- Pecl, G, Tracey, S, Danyushevsky, L, Wotherspoon, S and Moltschaniwskyj, N 2011, Elemental fingerprints of Southern Calamari (Sepioteuthis australis) reveal local recruitment sources and allow assessment of the importance of closed areas, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 68(8): 1351–1360.
- Pecl, GT and Jackson, GD 2008, The potential impacts of climate change on inshore squid: biology, ecology and fisheries. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 18: 373–385.
- Pecl, GT, Moltschaniwskyj, NA, Tracey, SR and Jordan, AR 2004, Inter-annual plasticity of squid life history and population structure: ecological and management implications, Oecologia, 139(4): 515–524.
- Schnierer, S and Egan, H, 2016, Composition of the Aboriginal harvest of fisheries resources in coastal New South Wales, Australia. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 26:693-709.
- Smith, TM, Green, CP and Sherman, CDH 2015, Patterns of connectivity and population structure of the southern calamary Sepioteuthis australis in southern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 66:942–947.
- Steer, MA, Fowler, AJ, Rogers, PJ, Bailleul, F, Earl, J, Matthews, D, Drew, M, and Tsolos, A 2020, Assessment of the South Australian Marine Scalefish Fishery in 2018. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2017/000427-3. SARDI Research Report Series No. 1049. 214pp.
- Triantafillos, L 2004, Effects of genetic and environmental factors on growth of southern calamary, Sepioteuthis australis, from southern Australia and northern New Zealand, Marine and Freshwater Research, 55: 439–446.
- Triantafillos, L and Adams, M 2001, Allozyme analysis reveals a complex population structure in the southern calamary Sepioteuthis australis from Australia and New Zealand, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 212: 193–209.
- Victorian Fisheries Authority Commercial Fish Production Information Bulletin 2019. Victorian Fisheries Authority, Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia.