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Stock assessment report on Queensland east coast red throat emperor (Lethrinus miniatus) fishery

Leigh, G.M., Williams, A.J., Begg, G.A., Gribble, N.A. and Whybird, O.J. (2006) Stock assessment report on Queensland east coast red throat emperor (Lethrinus miniatus) fishery. Project Report. Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.

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Abstract

The Red Throat Emperor fishery was assessed using an age-structured model that incorporated all available information on catch, catch per unit effort (CPUE) and age structure and a surplus production model fitted to the catch and CPUE data. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) was divided into five regions: Townsville, Mackay, Storm Cay, Swain reefs, and Capricorn Bunker. Age structure varied greatly between regions, with fish aged 5-8 years predominating in the Townsville region, 4-7 years in the Mackay, Storm Cay and Swains regions, and 2-3 years in the Capricorn-Bunker region. These differences were explained by different age-dependent vulnerabilities to fishing between the regions.

The age-structured model estimated that exploitable biomass fell to about 60% of virgin biomass in the late 1990s, due mainly to years of poor recruitment, but recovered to around 70% by 2004. Further recovery can be expected due to the fishery not meeting its total allowable commercial catch (TACC) of 700 t in recent years.

The current TACC of 700 t, combined with a recreational-charter catch of around 450 t, contains little margin for error, especially in view of high year-to-year variability of recruitment of red throat emperor and stresses on the GBR from land clearing, coastal development and climate change. The state of the population needs to be monitored closely. Further data on age structures after 2000 will provide more certainty to this assessment.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Business groups:Animal Science
Additional Information:© The State of Queensland
Keywords:Lethrinidae; population dynamics; red throat emperor; stock assessment; coastal development; climate change; Great Barrier Reef; Queensland.
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery research
Science > Statistics > Mathematical statistics
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > By region or country > Australia > Great Barrier Reef
Deposited On:01 May 2012 02:09
Last Modified:03 Apr 2019 03:44

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