Shark longline fishery of Papua New Guinea: size and species composition and spatial variation of the catches

White, William T., Baje, Leontine, Appleyard, Sharon A., Chin, Andrew, Smart, Jonathan J., and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2020) Shark longline fishery of Papua New Guinea: size and species composition and spatial variation of the catches. Marine and Freshwater Research. (In Press)

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Abstract

This study provides the first detailed investigation of the catches of the shark longline fishery in Papua New Guinea. Fisheries observers collected data on shark catches from a total of 318 longline sets between May and June 2014, before its closure in July 2014. In all, 14 694 sharks were recorded with a total estimated biomass of 439 tonnes (Mg). Eighteen species of sharks were recorded in the observer data, with the most dominant species being Carcharhinus falciformis, which constituted more than 90% of the total catches by both weight and number of individuals. The level of observer misidentification was low (<10%), which reflected the use of region-specific identification guides by well-trained fisheries observers. The most diverse catches were in the Solomon Sea area, whereas catches in most other areas, particularly the Bismarck Sea areas, were less diverse and more strongly dominated by C. falciformis. Size and sex ratios varied by species, highlighting the importance of obtaining species-level information from the fishery being investigated. Any consideration by fisheries managers to reopen this fishery needs to consider the effect this will have on the species targeted and the livelihoods of coastal fishers who also rely on the same resources.

Item ID: 62014
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: Carcharhinus falciformis, fisheries managers, livelihoods, sex ratios
Copyright Information: © 2019 CSIRO.
Funders: Australian Centre for Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority, James Cook University, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Projects and Grants: ACIAR Project FIS/2012/102
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 02:01
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 70%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 10%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 20%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
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