Developing indicators of recruitment and effective spawner stock levels in eastern king prawns
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries EcoScience Precinct
Tony J. Courtney
The eastern king prawn is the Australian east coast's single most valuable fish species. On the basis of previous experience and existing data, the risk of overfishing this stock is unquantified but appreciable. Obtaining data which can be used to advise fisheries managers on the necessity of intervention can only be obtained from a focussed, directed multi agency study. In order to establish stock status, supply accurate advice and recommendations on management and monitor effectiveness of management intervention if need be, there are needs to develop procedures which; (a) allow definition of the relationship between parent stock and recruitment levels in eastern king prawns, using fishery independent surveys as a means of determining recruitment levels. (b) determine the status of the species and evaluate the potential risk of over-fishing. (c) develop methods which can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of management intervention, if and when such intervention occurs.
1. Develop procedures and protocols for measuring a fishery independent index of recruitment in eastern king prawns.
2. Develop a program designed to monitor long term recruitment levels and changes in recruitment levels of eastern king prawns.
3. Identify indices of effective spawning stock abundance for eastern king prawns in anticipation of the need for managing to increase spawner biomass.
4. Undertake preliminary investigations of larval and post larval eastern king prawns distribution and abundance as functions of depth, distance from shores and estuaries.
Principal Investigator: A. J. Courtney, M. G. Cosgrove, D. G. Mayer & D. J. Vance