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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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Technical Annual Report 2000/01 275 Figure 1. Catch and Effort NT mud crab fishery 1983 2000 There are no restrictions on the number of times per day a fisher can check or move each pot. With this in mind, fishing effort is recorded as pot-lifts. Effort has increased gradually over the past 10 years and has remained stable over the last five. Total effort in 2000 was reported at 983,524 pot-lifts compared with the previous five-year average of 967,336 pot-lifts, a difference of approximately 5 days fishing per licence across the entire fishery. The major fishing areas for mud crab in the NT are the Borroloola region (McArthur River to Qld border), Roper River (Limmen River to Roper River), Darwin Area (Daly River to the Mary River) and Arnhem Land (East Alligator River to the Roper River). The Blue Mud Bay region, north of the Roper River, has historically produced only a small proportion of the catch; however recent logbook data report an increase in activity and associated catches. Negligible activity was reported on the western coast of the Territory. The majority of commercial fishing activity has concentrated in the remote south and western regions of the Gulf of Carpentaria with around 83% of the total commercial catch reported from this region. Recreational Mud crabbing is a popular recreational activity and provides entertainment and enjoyment to a large number of Territorians and visitors. Crabbing is often undertaken in conjunction with other fishing activities in coastal and estuarine regions. As such, a wide variety of vessels is used, although the specialised crabber prefers small dinghies. A licence is not required to enjoy recreational fishing, however the sale or barter of recreational catch is not permitted. The majority of the recreational catch is taken using pots or dillies and the use of hooks and spears is also permitted. Fishing methods and techniques are similar to the commercial sector with most recreational crabbing occurring in the vicinity of the major coastal population centres of Darwin and Borroloola. Gear restrictions of five pots per person, or if two or more persons on a vessel, a maximum of 10 pots applies. An in possession limit of a maximum of 10 mud crabs per person applies with a vessel limit of 30 mud crabs if there are three or more people on the vessel. Detailed historical information on the recreational catch of mud crabs in the NT is limited. The first survey of recreational fishing in the NT was conducted in 1995 (FISHCOUNT). It was estimated that recreational fishers landed 75,000 mud crabs throughout the survey period of which over 52,000 were retained - this is equivalent to around 40 to 50 tonnes. Darwin Harbour accounted for around 65% of the catch with 25% from the McArthur River region. 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1 9 8 3 1 9 8 4 1 9 8 5 1 9 8 6 1 9 8 7 1 9 8 8 1 9 8 9 1 9 9 0 1 9 9 1 1 9 9 2 1 9 9 3 1 9 9 4 1 9 9 5 1 9 9 6 1 9 9 7 1 9 9 8 1 9 9 9 2 0 0 0 Year C at ch ( t) a n d E ff o rt ( x1 ,0 00 p o tl if ts ) 0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00 1.20 C P U E ( kg p er p o tl if t) Catch(t) Effort (potlifts) CPUE