Research Document - 2004/015

Update on effort standardization for the in-season monitoring of the prawn by trap fishery

By Rutherford, D.T., H. Nguyen, G.E. Gillespie

Abstract

The prawn trap fishery is managed using an escapement index, referred to as the Spawner Index (SI). The SI was historically developed using fishery independent methods and gear. In-season monitoring of the SI is done using fishery dependent methods and gear. Development and increased use of alternative trap and bait types in the commercial fishery require that correction factors be developed to ensure that the SI is applied correctly. This paper documents experiments to determine catch efficiency of double-ring traps and pellet bait. No significant differences were detected in the catch efficiency of legal-size prawns in double-ring traps versus the standard traps. Catches of legal-size prawns were significantly greater (p<0.005) for pellets than standard bait. On average, pellet bait caught 1.27 times more legal-size prawns than the standard bait on which the SI was developed.

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