Harvest patterns and effort dynamics of indigenous and non-indigenous commercial sectors of the eastern Torres Strait reef line fishery

Williams, Ashley J., Ballagh, Aaron C., Begg, Gavin A., Murchie, Cameron D., and Currey, Leanne M. (2008) Harvest patterns and effort dynamics of indigenous and non-indigenous commercial sectors of the eastern Torres Strait reef line fishery. Continental Shelf Research, 28 (16). pp. 2117-2128.

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Abstract

The reef line fishery (RLF) in eastern Torres Strait (ETS) is unique in that it has both a commercial indigenous sector and a commercial non-indigenous sector. Recently, concerns have been expressed by all stakeholders about the long-term sustainability of the fishery. These concerns have been exacerbated by the lack of detailed catch and effort information from both sectors, which has precluded any formal assessment of the fishery. In this paper, we characterise the harvest patterns and effort dynamics of the indigenous and non-indigenous commercial sectors of the ETS RLF using a range of data sources including commercial logbooks, community freezer records, voluntary logbooks and observer surveys. We demonstrate that bycatch is a significant component of the catch for both sectors and identify substantial differences in harvest patterns and effort dynamics between the sectors. Differences between sectors were observed in species composition and spatial and temporal patterns in catch, effort and catch per unit effort. These results highlight the inherent variation in catch and effort dynamics between the two commercial sectors of the ETS RLF and provide valuable information for the development of future assessments and appropriate management strategies for the fishery. The more reliable estimates of harvest patterns and effort dynamics for both sectors obtained from observer surveys will also assist in resolving issues relating to allocation of reef fish resources in Torres Strait.

Item ID: 6139
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: catch statistics; fishing effort; reef fisheries; fishery management; indigenous fisheries; Torres Strait; Australia; fishery resources
ISSN: 1873-6955
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2010 05:04
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 60%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 10%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 60%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage @ 40%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 7
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