Goldband Snapper (2020)
Date Published: June 2021
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Goldband Snapper is widely distributed across northern Australia. There are nine stocks—defined at either the management unit or biological stock level—across WA, the NT and QLD. All are classified as sustainable apart from the East Coast Queensland management unit and the Gulf of Carpentaria and Joseph Bonaparte Gulf biological stocks, which are undefined.
Stock Status Overview
|Queensland||East Coast Queensland||Undefined||
|Queensland||Gulf of Carpentaria||Undefined||
Goldband Snapper is widely distributed throughout northern Australia and the tropical Indo–West Pacific. Ovenden et al.  examined the genetic connectivity of Goldband Snapper using mitochondrial DNA from samples collected at six Australian locations (four in Western Australia: Exmouth, Pilbara, Broome, Northern Kimberley; two in the Northern Territory: Timor Sea, Arafura Sea) and three south east Asian locations (Kupang, Irian Jaya, Madang). The mitochondrial DNA data for Goldband Snapper did not differ genetically among Australian locations, except for the northern Kimberley location that exhibited restricted gene flow. Ovenden et al.  reported that samples taken from locations in Southeast Asia were genetically distinct from those sampled from Australian locations. This study indicated that within the region sampled, Goldband Snapper are likely to form a single biological stock.
Newman et al.  examined otolith stable isotopes in each of three management regions in Western Australia (Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne), and across northern Australia. Significant differences in stable isotope ratios provided evidence that there was limited mixing of adult Goldband Snapper between all sites sampled in Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Therefore, each of these broad locations could be treated separately for the purposes of fishery management, if management arrangements were mediated in a way that harmonized with the spatial patterns of exploitation. Recently, Saunders et al.  used otolith microchemistry and parasitology to identify separate biological Goldband Snapper stocks in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, Timor Sea, Arafura Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria.
Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne (Western Australia) and East Coast Queensland and at the biological stock level for the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, Timor Sea, Arafura Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria.
East Coast Queensland
Species level reporting in commercial logbooks began in 2007 and has helped to quantify catch as an indicator of fishing pressure. Commercial harvest of Goldband Snapper in Queensland is constrained by a multi-species TACC, in addition to species-specific harvest control rules as part of the newly implemented Reef Line Fishery Harvest Strategy [QDAF 2020]. For secondary target and by-product species like Goldband Snapper, this includes catch reference points that trigger stock assessments and implementation of a species-specific TACC. Since 2007, catch peaked in 2017 (59 t) but has since declined to 45 t in 2019. No formal stock assessments have been undertaken to quantify biomass levels of Goldband Snapper on the east coast of Australia. There is insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.
On the basis of the evidence provided above, East Coast Queensland management unit is classified as an undefined stock.
Gulf of Carpentaria
Goldband Snapper is mostly harvested by trawlers in the Gulf of Carpentaria Developmental Fin Fish Trawl Fishery) (GOCDFFTF - Queensland) and Demersal Fishery (DF- Northern Territory). There is no reliable estimate of recreational or Indigenous harvest of Goldband Snapper in the Gulf of Carpentaria, but it is expected to be minor given the offshore nature of the fishery. This stock was also exposed to historical fishing from foreign fleets during the 1950s to the 1980s [O’Neill et al. 2011] but these catches were negligible (1945–1980 average; 2 t) compared to the current catches. Total catch from the GOCDFFTF has historically been relatively low, reaching a peak of 35 t in 2011. This fishery has been inactive for several years however, and no catch has been recorded since 2016 [QFISH 2020]. The DF only recorded small catches of Goldband Snapper (2006–2014 average; 4.6 t), before effort in this stock area increased significantly with the total catch rising to 49 t in 2019. This catch is low compared to the other Goldband Snapper stocks, however, the historical trawl survey in this region [Sainsbury et al. 1991] did not record high abundances of this species compared to other stocks (e.g. Timor and Arafura seas) so it is unknown what the impact of these catches are on the biomass of this stock. Consequently, there is insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.
On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Gulf of Carpentaria biological stock is classified as an undefined stock.
Goldband Snapper biology [Newman et al. 2001, Newman and Dunk 2003, Wakefield et al. unpublished data]
|Species||Longevity / Maximum Size||Maturity (50 per cent)|
|Goldband Snapper||30 years, 700 mm FL, 810 mm TL||4.6 years, 417 mm FL , 526 mm TL|
|Hook and Line|
|Hook and Line|
|Total allowable catch|
Western Australia – Commercial (catch) Goldband Snapper forms part of the combined Total Allowable Commercial Catch for other mixed demersal species in the GDSMF.
Western Australia – Active Vessels Data is confidential as there were fewer than three vessels operating in Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery and Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery.
Western Australia – Recreational (Catch) Boat-based recreational catch is from 1 September 2017–31 August 2018. These data are derived from those reported in Ryan et al. .
Western Australia – Recreational (management methods) A Recreational Fishing from Boat License is required for the use of a powered boat to fish or to transport catch or fishing gear to or from a land-based fishing location.
Western Australia – Indigenous (management methods) Subject to application of Section 211 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), and the exemption from a requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence, the non-commercial take by Indigenous fishers is covered by the same arrangements as that for recreational fishing.
Northern Territory – Charter (management methods) In the Northern Territory, charter operators are regulated through the same management methods as the recreational sector but are subject to additional limits on license and passenger numbers.
Northern Territory – Indigenous (management methods) The Fisheries Act 1988 (NT), specifies that “…without derogating from any other law in force in the Territory, nothing in a provision of this Act or an instrument of a judicial or administrative character made under it limits the right of Aboriginals who have traditionally used the resources of an area of land or water in a traditional manner from continuing to use those resources in that area in that manner”.
Queensland – Indigenous (management methods) for more information see https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/traditional-fishing
- DPIRD 2017, North Coast demersal scalefish resource harvest strategy 2017–2021. Version 1.0. Fisheries Management Paper No. 285. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Government of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. 35p.
- Gaughan, DJ and Santoro, K (eds.) 2018, Status Reports of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Western Australia 2016/17: The State of the Fisheries. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, Perth, Australia. 237p.
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- Newman, SJ, Wakefield, C, Skepper, C, Boddington, and Blay, N 2020, North Coast Demersal Resource Status Report 2019. pp. 159–168. In: Gaughan, D.J. and Santoro, K. (eds.). 2020. Status Reports of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Western Australia 2018/19: The State of the Fisheries. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, Perth, Australia. 291p.
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