Project number: 2006-044
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $100,768.40
Principal Investigator: Ian Potter
Organisation: Murdoch University
Project start/end date: 13 Oct 2006 - 1 Dec 2009


The highly deleterious impact of environmental changes on the commercial and recreational fish species is becoming of greatly increasing concern to stakeholders and fishery managers. The managers of fisheries on the south coast of Western Australia need to know 1) the extent to which environmental changes can affect the recruitment success of key targeted species and 2) the current estimated levels of total mortality of those species and how they might have changed in the last 10-15 years. Such information is essential for facilitating the development by resource managers of appropriate strategies for managing the fisheries in those estuaries, and is particularly important because those estuaries have undergone radical environmental change and the total amount of fishing has increased and fisheries regulations have been modified. Only through knowledge of the impacts of marked environmental change will it be possible to develop strategies that can accommodate the changes that must inevitibly be occurring in carrying capacity, recruitment, growth and mortality of estuarine fish species.


1. Elucidate how environmental change influences the recruitment success of black bream and estuarine cobbler in south coast estuaries.
2. Determine the current age and size compositions, growth and total mortality of black bream and estuarine cobbler in four estuaries.
3. Compare the above data with those derived for these two species in two of those estuaries over 10 years ago.
4. Determine the implications of the results of the study for management and provide that advice both in writing and verbally to managers in the Department of Fisheries and the Department of Environment.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-86905-910-4
Author: Ian Potter

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