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Gummy Shark (2020)

Mustelus antarcticus

  • James Woodhams (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences)
  • Victor Peddemors (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Matias Braccini (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Victorian Fisheries Authority (Victorian Fisheries Authority)
  • Jeremy Lyle (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)

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Summary

Gummy Shark is a sustainable species found throughout Australia’s temperate waters. It occurs from Geraldton in WA around to Jervis Bay in NSW, and in TAS. There is also an undefined stock in Eastern Australia from Newcastle north to the Clarence River.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Stock status Indicators
New South Wales Eastern Australia Undefined
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Stock Structure

Gummy Shark (Mustelus antarcticus) is distributed throughout the temperate waters of Australia, from at least Port Stephens in New South Wales, to Geraldton in Western Australia (including Tasmania) [Gardner and Ward 2002, Last and Stevens 2009]. There is most likely two biological stocks of M. antarcticus in Australia; one in  southern Australia (extending from the lower west coast of Western Australia to Jervis Bay in New South Wales and a second in eastern Australia, extending from Newcastle to the Clarence River in New South Wales[Last and Stevens 2009].  The lower fecundity and smaller total length at a reproductive maturity of the eastern stock relative to the southern stock supports this division(see Biology Table).  

Conventional tagging showed adult Gummy Sharks exhibit broad-scale displacements from tagging locations of up to 2362 km in 6.8 years, yet only 15 per cent of adults were recaptured > 250 km from the tagging location. The mean displacement was approximately 150 km [Walker 2000]. Acoustic tagging in Western Australia showed comparable movements, with average long-distance displacements of 238 km and maximum displacements of > 900 km [Braccini et al. 2017].

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the biological stock level—Southern Australia and Eastern Australia.

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Stock Status

Eastern Australia

Available information indicates that there is little catch of Gummy Shark (less than 50 t per year) off NSW [Peddemors 2015]. In the 2019 calendar year, the total catch was around 23 t. CPUE in NSW has remained relatively stable since 2014. There is insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Eastern Australia biological stock is classified as an undefined stock.

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Biology

Gummy Shark biology [Moulton et al. 1992, Peddemors 2015 ,Walker 2007, Walker 2010]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Gummy Shark

Southern:16 years, 1 850 mm TL (25 kg total body mass)

Eastern: 1000 mm TL

Southern: Females 1 105–1 253 mm TL  Males 950–1 133 mm TL

Eastern: 650-700 mm TL

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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Gummy Shark
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Tables

Fishing methods
New South Wales
Commercial
Line
Otter Trawl
Various
Recreational
Hook and Line
Management methods
Method New South Wales
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Processing restrictions
Size limit
Spatial closures
Indigenous
Customary fishing management arrangements
Recreational
Bag limits
Catch
New South Wales
Commercial 22.50t
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational Unknown

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.

Western Australia – Recreational (Management methods) A recreational fishing from boat licence is required for recreational fishing from a powered vessel in Western Australia.

New South Wales Data provided for New South Wales align with the 2018–19 fiscal year with all vessels active in the fishery included (irrespective of whether they reported landing this species). The New South Wales EGF, OTF and OTLF fish both the Southern Australian and Eastern Australian stocks.

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 – 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. Tasmania – Indigenous (Management Methods) In Tasmania, Indigenous people engaged in aboriginal 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. Additionally, recreational bag and possession limits also apply. If using pots, rings, set lines or gillnets, Aborigines must obtain a unique identifying code (UIC). The policy document Recognition of Aboriginal Fishing Activities for issuing a UIC to a person for Aboriginal Fishing activity explains the steps to take in making an application for a UIC.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Gummy Shark - note confidential catch not shown
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References

  1. Braccini, M and Blay, N. 2019. Temperate demersal gillnet and demersal longline fisheries. In: Status Reports of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Western Australia 2018/19: The State of the Fisheries eds. D.J. Gaughan and K. Santoro. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia
  2. Braccini, M, Blay, N, Hesp, A, and Molony, B 2018. Resource Assessment Report Temperate Demersal Elasmobranch Resource of Western Australia. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Fisheries Research Report No. 294 Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia. 149 pp
  3. Braccini, M, Rensing, K, Langlois, T and McAuley, R 2017, Acoustic monitoring reveals the broad-scale movements of commercially-important sharks. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 577:121–129.
  4. Gardner, MG and Ward, RD 2002, Taxonomic affinities within Australian and New Zealand Mustelus sharks inferred from allozymes, mitochondrial DNA and precaudal vertebrae counts, Copeia, 2002(2): 356–363.
  5. Giri, K and Hall, K 2015, South Australian Recreational Fishing Survey. Fisheries Victoria Internal Report Series No. 62.
  6. Last, PR and Stevens, JD 2009 Sharks and rays of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
  7. MA Steer, AJ Fowler, PJ Rogers, F Bailleul, J Earl, D Matthews, M Drew and A Tsolos (2020). Assessment of the South Australian Marine Scalefish Fishery in 2018. Report to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2017/000427-3. SARDI Research Report Series No. 1049. 213 pp.
  8. Moulton, PL, Walker, TI and Sadlier, SR 1992, Age and growth studies of Gummy Shark, Mustelus antarcticus (Günther), and school shark, Galeorhinus galeus (Linnaeus), from southern-Australian waters, Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43: 1241–1267.
  9. Peddemors V 2015. Gummy Shark (Mustelus antarcticus) In: Stewart J, Hegarty A, Young C, Fowler AM and Craig J (Eds). Status of Fisheries Resources in NSW 2013-14. NSW Department of Primary Industries, Mosman. pp. 169-171.
  10. Punt, A, Thomson, R and Sporcic, M 2016, Gummy shark assessment update for 2016, using data to the end of 2015, report presented to the SharkRAG meeting, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart.
  11. Rogers, P. J., Tsolos, A., and Boyle, M.K. 2020. South Australian Charter Boat Fishery Data Summary. Final Report to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2007/000847-6. 19 pp.
  12. Rowling, K, Hegarty A and Ives M 2010, Gummy Shark (Mustelus antarcticus), in K Rowling, A Hegarty and M Ives (eds), Status of fisheries resources in NSW 2008/09, Industry and Investment New South Wales, Cronulla, 392.
  13. Ryan, K.L., Hall, N. G., Lai, E. K., Smallwood, C. B., Tate, A., Taylor, S. M. and Wise, B. S. (2019). Statewide survey of boat-based recreational fishing in Western Australia 2017/18. Fisheries Research Report No. 297, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia
  14. Victorian Fisheries Authority 2020, Review of key Victorian fish stocks — 2019. VFA Internal Report Series No. 7, May 2020.
  15. Victorian Fisheries Authority. 2017. Review of key Victorian fish stocks—2017. Victorian Fisheries Authority Science Report Series No. 1.
  16. Walker, TI 1992, Fishery Simulation Model for Sharks Applied to the Gummy Shark, Mustelus antarcticus Gunther, from Southern Australian Waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43.
  17. Walker, TI 2007, Spatial and temporal variation in the reproductive biology of Gummy Shark Mustelus antarcticus (Chondrichthyes: Triakidae) harvested off southern Australia, Marine and Freshwater Research, 58: 67–97.
  18. Walker, TI 2010, Population biology and dynamics of the Gummy Shark (Mustelus antarcticus) harvested off southern Australia, PhD thesis, University of Melbourne.
  19. White, WT and Last, PR 2008, Description of two new species of gummy sharks, genus Mustelus (Carcharhiniformes: Triakidae), from Australian waters, in PR Last, WT White and JJ Pogonoski (eds), Descriptions of new Australian chondrichthyans, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research paper 22, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Canberra, 189–202.

Downloadable reports

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