Fishery Status Reports 2006
Dept. of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines.
Fishery reports; Reports; PublicationNT; Fishery report ; no. 87
Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).
Fishery resources -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Shark fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Mackerel fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Crab fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Giant perch fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Lutjanidae fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals
Dept. of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines
Fishery report ; no. 87
Check within Publication or with content Publisher.
F I S H E R Y S T A T U S R E P O R T S 2 0 0 6 88 Recreational Sector Area Highly prized as a sport and table fish, most Spanish mackerel taken by recreational fishers is from waters within easy reach of the major coastal population centres of Darwin, Nhulunbuy and Borroloola. Surveys of recreational anglers in 1995 and 2000-01 found that most (47 per cent) of the targeted effort for game fish (e.g. mackerel) occurred in the Nhulunbuy area. Fishing Method Fishing gear and methods employed by recreational fishermen targeting Spanish mackerel are similar to those in the commercial sector. Lures and baits are trolled in the vicinity of reefs, headlands and shoals, or baited lines are used for casting or drifting into mackerel schools. Many recreational anglers use berley, which is diced and continuously tossed from the fishing vessel to entice mackerel. A proportion of the catch is also taken when fishing for other species. In such cases fishing methods can vary. Catch FISHCOUNT, a general population survey conducted in 1995 estimated the total recreational catch of all mackerel to be around 24 500 individuals. Almost all of these fish were harvested, giving a harvest of approximately 170 tonnes. The proportion of Spanish mackerel within the recreational mackerel catch was not identified. In 2000-01, the National Recreational Fishing Survey found that the annual NT catch of all mackerel by the recreational sector was 25 233 individuals, slightly higher than the FISHCOUNT survey conducted in 1995. Over half of the mackerel catch was not identified to species. However, during recent survey work done with recreational fishers, 49 per cent of the mackerel catch was thought to be Spanish mackerel. The survey results also indicated that the average weight of individual Spanish mackerel was estimated to be approximately 5.9 kg, coupled with an estimated release mortality of 54 per cent. This information provided an estimated recreational sector harvest of 62.2 tonnes, including the Fishing Tour Operator (FTO) catch component of 15.1 tonnes. Effort In 1995, targeted game fishing accounted for only a small proportion (2 per cent) of the total recreational fishing effort of over 37 000 hours. In 2000, targeted game fishing increased to nearly 8 per cent of the total recreational fishing effort of over 139 313 hours. Fishing Tour Operator Sector Area Fishing guides can fish in all areas of the fishery. Fishing Method Fishing gear and methods employed by FTO clients targeting Spanish mackerel are similar to those found in the recreational and commercial sectors. Lures and baits are trolled in the vicinity of reefs, headlands and shoals, or baited lines are used for casting or drifting into mackerel schools. Trolling accounts for most of the fishing effort, although casting has been used more frequently since 1998. Catch In 2006, the catch of Spanish mackerel decreased by 21 per cent to 2960 individuals. This decrease was reflected in a similar decrease in line hours devoted by FTO clients to game fishing. Significantly, the release rate of Spanish mackerel caught by FTOs increased in 2006 to 63 per cent. As a result, the total harvest of Spanish mackerel by FTOs in 2006 was 1072 fish. In 2006, 971 other species of mackerel were caught with 700 of those fish retained (72 per cent).The catch of other mackerel species is also down from 2005 figures. Effort Targeted game fishing by FTOs is a small component of the industry. Game fish targeted trips decreased in 2006 from 1023 to 813 trips.
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