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Black Jewfish (2020)

Protonibea diacanthus

  • Thor Saunders (Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Northern Territory)
  • Alice Pidd (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Fabian Trinnie (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Stephen Newman (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)

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Summary

Black Jewfish is assessed as sustainable in WA, Regional NT, and the Darwin Region. Stocks in the Gulf of Carpentaria and on the QLD East Coast are undefined, with limited information available.

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Stock Status Overview

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

Black Jewfish is a widespread Indo-Pacific species found from Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia, north and east across Northern Australia, to the east coast of Queensland. The stock structure for this species has been investigated in the north-western part of its range along the West Australian and Northern Territory coastlines [Saunders et al. 2016a]. The results indicated that separate stocks exist at the scale of tens of kilometres [Saunders et al. 2016a]. However, it is extremely difficult to collect relevant biological, and catch and effort information to assess each of these individual fine-scale biological stocks, although this fine-scale stock structure is an explicit consideration for fishery managers. Due to the logistic and operational constraints of the relevant monitoring, assessment and management agencies, assessment is only feasible at the jurisdictional level. This approach assumes that the assessment of stock status within a jurisdictional assessment unit is relevant to all biological stocks within that assessment unit.

Here assessment of stock status is presented at the jurisdictional level—Western Australia, and at the management unit level—Darwin Region and Regional Northern Territory (Northern Territory); Gulf of Carpentaria (Northern Territory and Queensland) and Queensland East Coast. .

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Stock Status

Western Australia

Black Jewfish are not a target species in the Kimberley Gillnet and Barramundi Managed Fishery of Western Australia, but are landed in small quantities as by-product [Newman et al. 2020]. They have also been landed in very small quantities as by-product in the Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery, the Nickol Bay Prawn Managed Fishery and the Pilbara Line Fishery. The total commercial catch in Western Australia in 2019 was approximately 4.0 tonnes (t). Black Jewfish catches have only been reported from a small area of their range in Western Australia. They are also landed in small quantities by charter fishers, primarily in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. In addition, Barramundi has been classified as a sustainable stock in the Kimberley Gillnet and Barramundi Managed Fishery (Western Australia) management unit. Barramundi is an indicator species [see Newman at al. 2018] for the North Coast Nearshore and Estuarine Resource. Given the status of Barramundi as an indicator species, there is a concomitant low level of risk associated with the biological sustainability of all species harvested in the North Coast Nearshore and Estuarine Resource. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired.

Given the low level of take across their distributional range in Western Australia, the above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, Black Jewfish in Western Australia is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Black Jewfish biology [Phelan 2002, Welch et al. 2014]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Black Jewfish 15 years, 1 500 mm TL, 30 kg Northern Territory: 2 years, TL  890 mm
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Black Jewfish

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Tables

Fishing methods
Western Australia
Commercial
Gillnet
Otter Trawl
Indigenous
Unspecified
Handline
Charter
Rod and reel
Recreational
Handline
Management methods
Method Western Australia
Charter
Bag limits
Limited entry
Passenger restrictions
Possession limit
Size limit
Spatial zoning
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial closures
Spatial zoning
Temporal closures
Vessel restrictions
Indigenous
Laws of general application
Recreational
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Licence (Recreational Fishing from Boat License)
Possession limit
Size limit
Spatial closures
Catch
Western Australia
Commercial 3.47t
Charter < 1 t
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational Uknown

Western Australia – Recreational (Catch) Boat-based recreational catch if from 1 September 2017–31 August 2018. These data are derived from those reported in Ryan et al. [2019].

Western Australia – Recreational (management methods) A Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence 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.

Western AustraliaActive Vessels Data is confidential as there were fewer than three vessels operating in the Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery.

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 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 

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Black Jewfish - note confidential catch not shown
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References

  1. Haddon M, Punt A and Burch P 2018, simpleSA: A package containing functions to facilitate relatively simple stock assessments. R package version 0.1.18.
  2. Martell, S, and Froese, R. 2013, A simple method for estimating MSY from catch and resilience. Fish and Fisheries 14:504–514.
  3. Newman, SJ, Brown, JI, Fairclough, DV, Wise, BS, Bellchambers, LM, Molony, BW, Lenanton, RCJ, Jackson, G, Smith, KA, Gaughan, DJ, Fletcher, WJ, McAuley, RB and Wakefield, CB 2018, A risk assessment and prioritisation approach to the selection of indicator species for the assessment of multi-species, multi-gear, multi-sector fishery resources. Marine Policy, 88: 11–22.
  4. Newman, SJ, Mitsopoulos, G, Skepper, C and Wiberg, L 2020, North Coast Nearshore and Estuarine Resource Status Report 2019. pp. 153-129. 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.
  5. Northern Territory Government 2017, Status of key Northern Territory Fish Stocks Report 2015, Northern Territory Government Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Fishery Report 118.
  6. O'Neill, MF, Leigh, GM, Martin, JM, Newman, SJ, Chambers, M, Dichmont, CM, and Buckworth, RC 2011, Sustaining productivity of tropical red snappers using new monitoring and reference points. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation Project No. 2009/037, Published by the The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. 108 pp.
  7. Penny S, Lovett R, Trinnie F, Newman S, 2018, Black Jewfish Protonibea diacanthus, in Carolyn Stewardson, James Andrews, Crispian Ashby, Malcolm Haddon, Klaas Hartmann, Patrick Hone, Peter Horvat, Stephen Mayfield, Anthony Roelofs, Keith Sainsbury, Thor Saunders, John Stewart, Simon Nicol and Brent Wise (eds) 2018, Status of Australian fish stocks reports 2018, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra.
  8. Phelan, M 2008, Assessment of the implications of target fishing on Black Jewfish (Protonibea diacanthus) aggregations in the Northern Territory, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation project 2004/004, fishery report 91, Northern Territory Fisheries.
  9. Phelan, MJ 2002, Fishery biology and management of the Black Jewfish Protonibea squamosa (Sciaenidiae) aggregations near Injinoo community, Far Northern Cape York. Stage 1: Initial characterisation of the aggregations and associated fishery, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation project 98/135, Department of Primary Industries, Queensland and Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation, Cairns.
  10. QFish, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, www.qfish.gov.au
  11. Roelofs, AJ 2003, Ecological Assessment of the Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Finfish Fishery - A report to Environment Australia on the sustainable management of a multi-species tropical gillnet fishery, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  12. Ryan, KL, Hall, NG, Lai, EK, Smallwood, CB, Tate, A, Taylor, SM, Wise, BS 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, Government of Western Australia, Perth. 
  13. Saunders T 2020b, Stock Status Summary - 2020 Black Jewfish (Protonibea diacanthus), Darwin Region Stock Reduction Analysis. Unpublished Fishery Report.
  14. Saunders T, 2020a, Regional Northern Territory Black Jewfish Stock Status Summary - 2020. Unpublished Fishery Report.
  15. Saunders T, Roelofs A, Newman S and Errity C 2016b, Black jewfish Protonibea diacanthus. In: Stewardson, C., Andrews, J., Ashby, C., Begg, G., Fletcher, R., Gardner, C., Georgeson, L., Hansen, S., Hartmann, K., Hone, P., Horvat, P., Maloney, L., McDonald, B., Morre, A., Roelofs, A., Sainsbury, K., Saunders, T., Smith, T., Stewart, J., Stobutzki, I., and Wise, B. (Eds.): Status of key Australian fish stocks reports 2016. Canberra: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.
  16. Saunders, TM, Welch, D, Barton, D, Crook, D, Dudgeon, C, Hearnden, M, Maher, S, Ovenden, J, Taillebois, L and Taylor J 2016a, Optimising the management of tropical coastal reef fish through the development of Indigenous capability. FRDC final report 2013/017.
  17. Taillebois, L, Barton, DP, Crook, DA, Saunders, T, Taylor, J, Hearnden, M, Saunders, RJ, Newman, SJ, Travers, MJ, Welch, DJ, Greig, A, Dudgeon, C, Maher, S and Ovenden, JR 2017, Strong population structure deduced from genetics, otolith chemistry and parasite abundances explains vulnerability to localized fishery collapse in a large Sciaenid fish, Protonibea diacanthus, Evolutionary Applications, vol. 10, no. 10, pp. 978–993.
  18. Teixeira, D., Janes, R. and Webley, J. (2021) 2019/20 Statewide Recreational Fishing Survey Key Results. Project Report. State of Queensland, Brisbane.
  19. Webley, J, McInnes, K, Teixeira, D, Lawson, A and Quinn, R 2015, Statewide Recreational Fishing Survey 2013-14, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  20. Welch, DJ, Robins, J, Saunders, T, Courtney, T, Harry, A, Lawson, E, Moore, BR, Tobin, A, Turnbull, C, Vance, D and Williams, AJ 2014, Implications of climate change impacts on fisheries resources of northern Australia. Part 2: Species profiles, final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, project 2010/565, James Cook University, Townsville.

Downloadable reports

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