Competitive Round Call for Expressions of Interest now open. Closes 27 September 2019

×

Title:

Effects of net fishing: addressing biodiversity and bycatch issues in Queensland inshore waters

Project Number:

1997-206

Organisation:

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries EcoScience Precinct

Principal Investigator:

Ian Halliday

Project Status:

Completed

FRDC Expenditure:

$528,010.19

Program(s):

Environment

Need

There is a critical need for information to support management decisions about inshore fisheries resources, and to address rising industry, conservation and public concern about the impact of net fishing on sustainability and biodiversity of the ecosystem and habitats associated with the fishery. The theory of measuring changes in biodiversity have yet to be applied in net fisheries. This project will be a test case for the practical application of determining net fishing effects on biodiversity. Information on the effect of net fishing on bycatch and biodiversity in Australia is extremely limited. While some data exist on the marketed catch, the quantity and nature of bycatch remains virtually unknown. There is little information on the total catch characteristics of net fisheries, the proportions of species caught, and the proportion of the resource harvested each year. Similarly little is known about the fate of fish discarded from nets which would help to characterise the impact of net fishing on biodiversity. This project will address the urgent need for information on the: total catch composition from net fishing, fate of discarded fish bycatch, impact on protected species and impact on biodiversity. Baseline data collected through both fishery dependent and independent methods will provide a basis for long term monitoring of the fishery and will enhance the interpretation of existing commercial catch records. These data will help meet the requirements of the ‘National Strategy for Conservation of Australia’s Biological Biodiversity’ of a) improving the knowledge base of fisheries, b) improving fisheries management and c) assessing and minimising the impact of commercial fishery practices on non-target and bycatch species, ecosystems and genetic diversity.

Objectives

1. Establish proportions of target catch and bycatch caught in inshore net fisheries along the Queensland east coast and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

2. Characterise the bycatch component of net fisheries in terms of species composition, seasonal abundance, habitat type and mesh size.

3. Determine the fate of fish discarded from net catches.

4. Establish the effects of net fishing on biodiversity through intensive comparative studies of areas closed and open to commercial net fishing.

5. Provide management advice on possible sustainability and biodiversity indicators, and on changes in net fishing practices needed to reduce impacts on bycatch species and biodiversity.

Final Report - 1997/206 - Effects of net fishing: addressing biodiversity and bycatch issues in Queensland inshore waters

Final Report
ISBN:0-7345-0150-1
ISSN:
Author(s):Ian Halliday
Date Published:November 2001

Principal Investigator: Ian Halliday, Janet Ley, Andrew Tobin, Rod Garrett, Neil Gribble and David Mayer

Key Words:

1997/206 - Effects of net fishing: addressing biodiversity and bycatch issues in Queensland inshore waters

Final Report
ISBN:0 7345 0150 1
ISSN:
Author(s):Ian Halliday
Date Published:August 2011

​Principal Investigator: Ian Halliday

Key Words: gill netting, biodiversity, Queensland, fishery, fate, bycatch, estuaries.

Summary: There is a critical need for information to guide management decisions about inshore
fisheries resources, and to address rising industry, conservation and public concern
about the impact of net fishing on the sustainability and biodiversity of ecosystems and
habitats associated with the fishery.
Information on the effect of gill net fishing on bycatch and biodiversity in Australia is
extremely limited. While some data exist on the marketed catch from gill nets, the
quantity and nature of bycatch remains virtually unknown. There is little information on
the total catch characteristics of net fisheries, the proportions of species caught, and the
proportion of the resource harvested each year. Similarly, little is known about the fate
of fish discarded from nets, information that would help to characterise the impact of
net fishing on biodiversity.
This project addresses the urgent need for information on: the total catch composition
from net fishing, fate of discarded fish bycatch, impact on protected species and impact
on biodiversity. Baseline data collected through both fishery-dependent and independent
methods can provide a basis for long term monitoring of the fishery and will enhance
the interpretation of existing commercial catch records. These data also help meet the
requirements of the ‘National Strategy for Conservation of Australia’s Biological
Biodiversity’ of:
a) improving the knowledge base of fisheries,
b) improving fisheries management and
c) assessing and minimising the impact of commercial fishery practices on non-target
and bycatch species, ecosystems and genetic diversity.