A quantitative comparison of recreational spearfishing and linefishing on the Great Barrier Reef: implications for management of multi-sector coral reef fisheries

Frisch, A.J., Baker, R., Hobbs, J-P. A., and Nankervis, L. (2008) A quantitative comparison of recreational spearfishing and linefishing on the Great Barrier Reef: implications for management of multi-sector coral reef fisheries. Coral Reefs, 27 (1). pp. 85-95.

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Abstract

This study compared the catch composition, catch per unit effort, and incidental impacts of spearfishers and linefishers engaged in a structured fishing program whereby fishing effort was standardized across time, space and skill level. It was found that (1) the catch composition of both groups of fishers overlapped considerably, (2) the numbers of target fish caught by spearfishers (156) and linefishers (168) were not significantly different, (3) the mean size of target fish caught by spearfishers (1.95 § 0.1 kg, §SE) was significantly larger than the mean size of target fish caught by linefishers (1.27 § 0.06 kg), and (4) spear-fishers retained 43% more biomass of target species than did linefishers (304 versus 213 kg, respectively). However, linefishers used »1 kg of bait for every 3 kg of target fish that were captured. Linefishers also caught far more undersized, undesirable, or protected fishes (i.e., bycatch) and caused far more pollution (i.e., lost gear) than did spearfishers. It is concluded that the overall impacts of recreational spearfishing and linefishing on fishery resources of the Great Barrier Reef are broadly equivalent (per unit of fishing effort), and that management regulations should be applied equitably across both fishing sectors. A management strategy of this type will simplify enforcement of fisheries regulations and avoid discrimination of particular fishers in local communities where both fishing methods are socially or culturally important.

Item ID: 10517
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: spearfishing, linefishing, catch per unit effort, selectivity, Coral trout, bycatch, marine science
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2010 00:19
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 75%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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