Ecological risk assessment of elasmobranchs caught in the Gulf of Papua prawn fishery

Baje, Leontine, Chin, Andrew, White, William T., and Simpfendorfer, Colin (2021) Ecological risk assessment of elasmobranchs caught in the Gulf of Papua prawn fishery. Aquatic Conservation: marine and freshwater ecosystems, 31 (11). pp. 3100-3110.

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Abstract

One-third of all elasmobranch species currently known to occur in Papua New Guinea are taken as bycatch in the Gulf of Papua trawl fishery. An ecological risk assessment was conducted on the 16 species of sharks and 23 species of rays caught by the fishery. Eight species were classified to be at low risk, 28 species were at medium risk while three species – Rhynchobatus palpebratus (eyebrow wedgefish), Carcharhinus coatesi (Australian blackspot shark) and Maculabatis astra (blackspotted whipray), all endemic to New Guinea and northern Australia – faced the highest level of risk from the fishery at current fishing levels. There is potential for more vessels to enter the fishery in future, which is likely to elevate the risk for a greater proportion of elasmobranch species. Ongoing monitoring of bycatch levels, supported by biological and ecological studies on frequently caught species, is required to assess and manage risk in the future. The development and use of trawl excluder devices or bycatch reduction devices in this fishery have the potential to reduce bycatch levels and reduce risk levels.

Item ID: 70602
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1099-0755
Keywords: trawl, shark, batoid, Papua New Guinea, Fishery, bycatch, conservation
Copyright Information: © 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 04:21
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1003 Fisheries - wild caught > 100305 Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna) @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180203 Coastal or estuarine biodiversity @ 50%
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