Bastard Trumpeter (2020)
Date Published: June 2021
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Bastard Trumpeter is considered to be depleted in Tasmanian waters. Stocks of Bastard Trumpeter in all other four jurisdictions from the central coast of NSW to VIC and SA are considered to be negligible, with fishing levels assumed to be unlikely to have a negative impact on stocks.
Stock Status Overview
|Tasmania||Tasmania||Depleted||Catch, effort, CPUE|
The stock structure of Bastard Trumpeter is presently undefined. Bastard Trumpeter are found on exposed reefs and sandy habitats from the central coast of New South Wales, through Victorian and Tasmanian waters, to eastern South Australia [Kuiter 1993, Edgar 1997]. Larval duration is unknown, although other trumpeter species have larval durations of up to 60 days, suggesting the potential for some connectivity between jurisdictions. Juveniles tend to inhabit shallow coastal reefs until about 4–5 years of age (and approximately 500 mm long) before moving offshore into deeper water as they approach maturity, apparently remaining in that habitat for the remainder of their lives [Harries and Lake 1985, Murphy and Lyle 1999].
Bastard Trumpeter is considered to be depleted in Tasmania while other jursidictions report that historic and current catches are negligible. Based on current understanding of Bastard Trumpeter population dynamics, it was not possible to reconcile these differences and determine a single stock status for the entire south eastern Australian stock. Management arrangements vary across jurisdictions (for example, size limits) and the fishing fleets in each jurisdiction consist of a small number of vessels with different characteristics, resulting in variable patterns of exploitation. Thus, assessment of stock status is presented at the jurisdictional level—Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
In Tasmania, Bastard Trumpeter is assumed to be one of the first commercially exploited fish species. The species is now taken almost exclusively by gillnet, predominantly as by-product in the Banded Morwong Fishery. Both commercial and recreational fisheries for the species are based almost entirely on immature juveniles. Records of commercial catches from the mid-1990s show steady declines from about 60 t to less than 3 t landed in 2018–19 [Krueck et al. 2020].
Catch and effort have contracted spatially in recent years, being concentrated primarily around the south-east and south-west coasts of the state [Krueck et al. 2020]. Commercial gillnet effort has followed a similar downward trend to that observed for catches since the mid-1990s. Thus, catch rates have remained relatively stable since the mid-2000s albeit at a reduced level. Over the last five years, catch rates have shown a consistent downward trend [Krueck et al. 2020].
Bastard Trumpeter are a popular target for recreational fishers, but, similar to commercial catches, the most recent estimate of recreational harvest for the 2017–18 season of 3.4 t represents a historic low [Lyle et al. 2019]. Several management interventions have been made in recent years to rebuild the stock, including increases in the minimum legal size, the introduction of commercial trip limits and reductions in recreational bag and possession limits.
As Bastard Trumpeter is a byproduct species in the commercial fishery, catch rather than catch rate might be a better indicator of population biomass. Consequently, the trend in commercial and recreational catches suggests that current inshore populations are at historically low levels. Given that fishing practices are likely to have remained fairly consistent in recent years, the declines in both catches and catch rates are indicative of a population that has not recovered despite management interventions and reductions in both commercial and recreational gillnet effort. Moreover, the current minimum size limit of 380 mm total length is well below the estimated size at maturity [> 450 mm fork length, Murphy and Lyle 1999]. This information indicates that the biomass of Bastard Trumpeter is likely to be depleted and that recruitment is likely to be impaired. Furthermore, current fishing mortality levels are expected to prevent the stock recovering from a recruitment impaired state.
On the basis of the evidence provided above, Bastard Trumpeter in Tasmania is classified as a depleted stock.
Bastard Trumpeter biology [Murphy and Lyle 1999]
|Species||Longevity / Maximum Size||Maturity (50 per cent)|
20 years, 650 mm TL
Matures at > 450 mm TL and > 4 years
Distribution of reported commercial catch of Bastard Trumpeter
|Bag and possession limits|
|Bag and possession limits|
|Recreational||7.5 t (2012/13), 3.4 t (2017/18)|
Tasmania – Commercial (catch) (a) Catches reported for the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery are for the period 1 July to 30 June the following year. The most recent assessment available is for 2018/19; (b) A trip limit of 200 kg is in place for commercial scalefish licence holders; and (c) A trip limit of 30 fish is in place for commercial rock lobster licence holders.
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. The species is subject to a minimum size limit of 380 mm total length. A bag limit of five fish and a possession limit of ten fish 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).
New South Wales – Indigenous (Management Methods) https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/aboriginal-fishing
New South Wales – Recreational (Catch) Murphy et al. .
Commonwealth – Commercial (Management Methods/Catch) Data provided for the Commonwealth align with the 2018-19 financial year.
Commonwealth – Recreational The Commonwealth 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 Torres Strait. In general, non-commercial Indigenous fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the state or territory immediately adjacent to those waters.
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.
Commercial catch of Bastard Trumpeter - note confidential catch not shown
- Edgar, G 1997, Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books, Melbourne.
- Harries, DN and Lake, PS 1985, Aspects of the biology of inshore populations of Bastard Trumpeter, Latridopsis forsteri (Castleneau, 1872) in Tasmanian waters. Tasmanian Fisheries Research, 27: 19–43.
- Krueck, N, Hartmann, K and Lyle, J 2020, Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Assessment 2018/19. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania.
- Kuiter, RH 1993, Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press,
- 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.
- Murphy, J.J., Ochwada-Doyle, F.A., West, L.D., Stark, K.E. and Hughes, J.M., 2020. The NSW Recreational Fisheries Monitoring Program - survey of recreational fishing, 2017/18. NSW DPI - Fisheries Final Report Series No. 158.
- Murphy, RJ and Lyle, JM 1999. Impact of gillnet fishing on inshore temperate reef fishes, with particular reference to Banded Morwong, Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, Hobart.