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Survey of marine boat-based recreational fishing in south-eastern Queensland (2007–08)

Webley, J., Taylor, S., Mayer, D. G., Dew, K. and Olyott, L. (2009) Survey of marine boat-based recreational fishing in south-eastern Queensland (2007–08). Technical Report. State of Queensland..



This report presents the first fine-scale regional data on marine boat-based recreational fishing activities in south-eastern Queensland. The survey will provide managers, policy makers, industry and researchers with information about marine boat-based recreational fishing effort, catches, releases and harvests in south-eastern Queensland. Principally, it will be used to enhance the design of future on-site surveys throughout Queensland. It underestimates total recreational fishing activity in the region because it surveyed a subset of recreational fishers (i.e. those returning to public boat ramps between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm). It did not survey shore-based fishers, people fishing at night, or boats returning to private access points such as marinas and private jetties.
The survey was designed to provide information about recreational fishing activities over a fine spatial scale (10s of km). Boat ramps were allocated to one of 14 survey routes within south-eastern Queensland, from Currumbin Creek in the south to Noosa River in the north. Ramps within these routes were surveyed between October 2007 and November 2008. A total of 6533 ramp surveys were completed; 7657 boats crews were interviewed, of which 4559 (60%) were fishing, and 3933 fish were measured. Data were analysed using two methods:
(1) the ‘established’ bus route access point method
(2) a conditional two-part generalised linear model (GLM). This was done to investigate which method provides the most precise estimates.

The estimates of annual fishing effort were similar with both methods: 1,230,456 boat hours with a relative standard error (RSE) of 0.042 for the established method and 1,227,303 (0.036) for the two-part GLM. The two-part GLM, however, provided 76–81% better precision when estimating the annual harvest of individual species of fish (e.g. yellowfin bream: established method estimated harvest at 107,631 fish with RSE of 0.156, while the two-part GLM estimated harvest at 115,974 fish with RSE of 0.030).
As sample size decreased, the two-part GLM provided more precise estimates than the established method. Of the 3933 fish measured there were few kingfish, mackerel, mulloway, rockcods or sharks. The precision of annual harvest estimates for these species was unacceptably high. This method is inefficient at collecting recreational fishing data for these less commonly caught species. The most abundantly harvested inshore species was the trumpeter whiting (annual estimate 300,379 fish), while the most abundantly harvested rocky reef species was snapper (annual estimate 37,299 fish).
Few undersized fish were measured at ramps and the most popular reason for release was because the fish were undersized. Release rates varied among the species caught (e.g. 22% for trumpeter whiting and 77% for snapper).
Fishing effort and the species composition of the harvest varied both among and within routes and appeared related to the accessibility to fish habitat types. The ramps of Route 04 registered the greatest fishing effort. These ramps provide access to the calm and relatively pristine environments of southern Moreton Bay. Information on spatial variation of effort and catch will be used to design future surveys and enhance survey efficiency.
This survey relied on fishery-dependant harvest per unit effort to estimate annual harvest. To be comparable with future surveys it is essential to understand how this harvest efficiency changes over time. Boat-based recreational fishers today use different technology and gear than 10 years ago and this has likely improved harvest efficiency.
Over time the demographics and attitudes of recreational fishers can change and this is especially the case in the growing region of south-eastern Queensland. These technological and social changes may affect many things including harvest efficiency, the species targeted and the proportion of shore-based to boat-based fishers. Therefore, these temporal changes need to be quantified in order to interpret comparisons of fishery-dependent data over time accurately.
This pilot study has highlighted the complexity and diversity of marine boat-based recreational fishing in south-eastern Queensland. It has provided valuable information and will assist in the sustainable management of the Rocky Reef Fishery and the East Coast Inshore Finfish Fishery.

Item Type:Monograph (Technical Report)
Business groups:Fisheries Queensland, Animal Science
Keywords:Fisheries long term monitoring program DAF Fishery monitoring
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery conservation
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery management. Fishery policy
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery research
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery for individual species
Live Archive:17 Dec 2018 04:49
Last Modified:02 Feb 2023 02:52

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