Project number: 2000-172
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $166,539.00
Principal Investigator: Charles A. Gray
Organisation: NSW Department Of Primary Industries
Project start/end date: 20 Nov 2000 - 14 Jan 2004


Reduction of wastage in fisheries has been a priority of management and research worldwide in recent years. Because of the public perceptions that estuarine gill netting is impacting on fish stocks, in particular causing mortality to sub-legal fish of recreational importance, and for industry to adopt the principles of ecologically sustainable development in the estuarine commercial finfish fishery, there is a clear need to (1) determine the real (as opposed to the perceived) level of discarding in the gill net fishery and how this varies spatially and temporally, and (2) determine the selectivities of the gill nets currently used by commercial fishers. If the anecdotal reports of large quantities of discards prove correct, and the selectivities of the current gears used are found to be not particularly good, then it would be highly beneficial to all users of the resource that more selective nets be developed. This would greatly assist EGMAC in developing a responsible management plan for the fishery. This in turn would help the commercial fishing industry in promoting itself as being responsible harvesters of the resource and would go along way to ameliorating the large amount of conflict among interest groups, as well as having long-term benefits to the resource and to all users of the resource.


1. Identify and quantify the rates of retained and discarded catches from the different types of gill nets used in the NSW estuarine commercial finfish fishery.

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