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Technical annual report 2000-01



Technical annual report 2000-01


Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295



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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries 268 Detailed historical information on the recreational catch of coastal species in the NT is limited. However, a survey of the recreational fishing sector (FISHCOUNT) undertaken throughout 1995, estimated that recreational fishers caught in the vicinity of 600 t of coastal species. The Darwin area accounted for around 65% of the catch with 25% from the McArthur River region. Black jewfish account for approximately one third of the total recreational catch with an estimated harvest of 240 tonnes in 1995. Recreational fishers do not require a licence in the NT, although possession limits exist, including a five jewfish limit which came into force in 1996 and a general possession limit of 30 fish per person which came into force in 1997. During 2000, further refinements to the possession limit are expected with a five golden snapper limit proposed as well as including the managed species within the 30 fish possession limit. A comprehensive National Survey of Recreational and Indigenous Fishers (NSRIF) is being undertaken during 2000/01 and will provide further estimates for harvest of coastal fish species. Fishing Tour Operators (FTO's) FTO's are licensed to conduct guided and charter fishing tours. Only recreational fishing gear can be used and the catch may not be sold, traded or bartered. The same gear and possession limits apply as for the recreational sector. FTO licences are issued free of charge, are not transferable and there is no limit on the number of licences issued. There are currently 180 licensed FTOs. Targeting reef fish is the second major fishing activity reported by FTOs, accounting for around 25 % of the total hours fished. Initial summaries of 1999 data indicates around 70 000 coastal fish were taken, with around 70 percent reported released. The major species taken were golden snapper, mangrove jack, cod, tricky snapper, Spanish flag, jewfish, parrot fish, shark, queenfish, and trevally. The level of activity of FTOs targeting reef fish appears relatively consistent based on logbook data. Tours are undertaken around Darwin, Fenton Patches, Bynoe Harbour, Fog Bay to Point Blaze and the Peron Islands. A small number of charters operate out of Gove, Borroloola and across Arnhem Land. Indigenous Indigenous people utilise fish and aquatic life of the coastal region as a subsistence food source as well as a source of recreation. Section 53 of the Fisheries Act guarantees indigenous people their right to use the resource in a traditional manner. Indigenous people are also entitled to use recreational fishing gear to catch fish. No information has been gathered on this sector, but the NSRIF 2000 survey will provide some details on catches taken by indigenous fishers. Aquaculture Development of technology to culture golden snapper has continued at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre and fish have been raised through all larval stages and can be grown to commercial size. This has been facilitated by the development of appropriate live feed, which has improved larval survival. Research Preliminary stock assessment of coastal Finfish was attempted in 1996 using historical catch and effort data and preliminary biological data collected over the initial 12-month period. Estimates of sustainable yield for this multi-species fishery ranged from 100 to 1000 tonnes per year. Catch and effort statistics from the commercial fishery are compiled and analysed on an annual basis. Logbook information is data poor and it is unlikely that reliable assessments will be possible, without substantial modification to the temporal and spatial scale at which the data is reported. Unfortunately funding for fishery monitoring and research for the Coastal Line Fishery was withdrawn in October 2000 due to budgetary restraints imposed within the Fisheries Division.