Management of the snapper fishery of South Australia has recently attained a level of heightened political sensitivity, reflecting the need to optimise the strategic approach. Nevertheless, from relevant discussions it is apparent that our understanding of the life-history is too poor to predict likely outcomes from suggested regional management strategies.
For this snapper fishery there is a need to optimise management based on a better understanding of the life-history and population biology, particularly with regard movement patterns of adult fish. It is currently unknown the extent to which fish move between different geographic regions, and thus the extent to which such behaviour contributes to the natural processes of sustaining the different regional populations. Such adult movement will determine the extent to which regional populations are independent, discrete, and separate sub-populations. Adult movement and stock structure are fundamental to identifying the appropriate spatial scale at which the population dynamics work, and thus the appropriate spatial scale at which fishery management should be applied.