Redspot King Prawn (2020)

Melicertus longistylus

  • Anthony Roelofs (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Mervi Kangas (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Ian Butler (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences)
  • Thor Saunders (Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Northern Territory)

Date Published: June 2021

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Redspot King Prawn occurs throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific, including northern Australia. The species' biological stock structure is uncertain, and this assessment is consequently presented at the management unit level—East Coast QLD, Northern Australia and WA. The East Coast QLD stock is classified as sustainable, WA is negligible, with no history of targeted fishing, and Northern Australia is undefined. 

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Stock status Indicators
Western Australia Western Australia Negligible
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Stock Structure

The Redspot King Prawn has an Indo-West Pacific and tropical Australian distribution from Exmouth Gulf in the west across northern Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait and down the east coast to approximately 22⁰S.

Biological Stock Structure of Redspot King Prawn is uncertain. The Northern Australia stock is fished by the Northern Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth) and the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery. The East Coast Queensland stock is taken along the coast of Queensland by the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery. The Western Australia stock is taken in very low quantities in the Exmouth and North Coast prawn fisheries.

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—East Coast Queensland (Queensland), Northern Australia (Commonwealth); and the jurisdictional level—Western Australia.



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Stock Status

Western Australia

Stock status for the Western Australian jurisdictional stock is reported as Negligible due to no catches being reported historically and because the stock has generally not been subject to targeted fishing. Redspot King Prawn is caught in very low quantities along with Western King Prawn primarily in the Exmouth Gulf Prawn and North Coast Prawn fisheries in Western Australia. The two species are not separated in commercial catches. Fishery independent prawn catch composition information from Exmouth Gulf indicates that the contribution of the Redspot King Prawn to the total catch of all king prawn species is less than 1 per cent. Fishing is unlikely to be having a negative impact on the stock.

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Redspot King Prawn biology [Holthuis 1980, Dredge 1990, Kailola et al. 1993]

Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Redspot King Prawn

2 years, 5.13 cm CL (female), 4.23 cm CL (male)

Female at 8 months, 3.3 cm CL; male time and length of maturity uncertain

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Distribution of reported Commercial Catch of Redspot King Prawn.

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Commonwealth – Indigenous (management methods) 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.

Commonwealth – Recreational (fishing methods) 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.

Queensland – Indigenous (management methods) for more information see https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/traditional-fishing

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Redspot King Prawn - note confidential catch not shown

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  1. Dredge, MCL, 1990, Movement, Growth and Natural Mortality Rate of the Red Spot King Prawn, Penaeus longistylus Kubo , from the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwater Res., 41, 399-410
  2. Holthuis, L.B. 1980 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 1. Shrimps and prawns of the world. An annotated catalogue of species of interest to fisheries. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(1):271 p. Rome: FAO.
  3. Kailola, PJ, Williams, MJ, Stewart, PC, Reichhelt, RE, McNee, A & Grieve, C, 1993, Australian Fisheries Resources. Bureau of Resource Sciences and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.
  4. Pears, RJ, Morison, AK, Jebreen, EJ, Dunning, MC, Pitcher, CR, Courtney, AJ, Houlden, B. and Jacobsen, IP, 2012, Ecological risk assessment of the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: Technical report, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville
  5. QFish, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, www.qfish.gov.au
  6. Wang, N, Wang, Y-G, Courtney, AJ & O’Neill, M, 2015, Application of a weekly delay-difference model to commercial catch and effort data for tiger prawns in the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery, PhD Thesis, University of Queensland and Queensland Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Downloadable reports

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