SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Scomberomorus commerson

SPECIES NAME(s)

Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel

COMMON NAMES

Snook, Spaniard

Narrow-barred spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson) are widespread in the Indo-West Pacific, can be found from the Red Sea and South Africa to Southeast Asia, north to China and Japan and south to southeast Australia, and to Fiji. It is targeted in artisanal, commercial and recreational fisheries in many parts of its range, are caught primarily with gillnets, but also caught with purse seines, and worldwide reported landings show a gradual increase from 7,186 tonnes in 1950 to 23,5985 tonnes in 2006 (FAO 2009). This species is also taken as bycatch in long-line, purse-seine and gill net gear targeting larger scombrids. Several sub-regional stock assessment in the Western Indian Ocean report this species to be heavily overexploited (McPherson 1992).

Genetic evidence indicates that there are three biological stocks of Spanish Mackerel across northern Australia; however, evidence from otolith microchemistry, parasite analysis and limited adult movement (at scales greater than 100 km) indicates that there are likely to be a number of smaller biological stocks with limited interaction (Shaklee et al. 1990).

Although each jurisdiction is likely to have multiple biological stocks within its boundaries, the difficulty in obtaining relevant biological and catch-and-effort information to assess each stock individually has meant that Spanish Mackerel has been grouped into two biological stocks (Torres Strait and east coast [Queensland]), two management units (Gulf of Carpentaria [Queensland] and Mackerel Managed Fishery [Western Australia]) and one jurisdiction (Northern Territory) (Begg et al. 2006).

The assessments that are not undertaken at the biological stock level are based on the populations that receive the highest harvest rates; their status can be assumed to be representative of the highest level of exploitation that occurs on any population within each management unit or jurisdiction (Patterson et al. 2016).


ANALYSIS

No related analysis

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

NOT YET SCORED

Managers Compliance:

NOT YET SCORED

Fishers Compliance:

NOT YET SCORED

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

NOT YET SCORED

Future Health:

NOT YET SCORED


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • This profile is not currently high on our priority list for development, and we can’t at this time provide an accurate prediction of when it will be developed. To speed up an evaluation of the sustainability status of lower priority fisheries we have initiated a program whereby industry can directly contract SFP-approved analysts to develop a FishSource profile on a fishery. More information on this External Contributor Program is available at https://www.sustainablefish.org/Programs/Science/External-Contributor-Program.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Torres Strait Torres Strait Spanish Mackerel Fishery Australia Handlines hand operated
Trolling lines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 28 January 2019

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • This profile is not currently high on our priority list for development, and we can’t at this time provide an accurate prediction of when it will be developed. To speed up an evaluation of the sustainability status of lower priority fisheries we have initiated a program whereby industry can directly contract SFP-approved analysts to develop a FishSource profile on a fishery. More information on this External Contributor Program is available at https://www.sustainablefish.org/Programs/Science/External-Contributor-Program.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 28 October 2016

Recent catches have been below maximum sustainable yield. Stock assessment scenarios do not show biomass declining below 0.2B0 (Patterson et al. 2016).

None of the model sensitivities in the stock assessment resulted in biomass declining below 0.2B0. In addition, catches since 2007–08 have been below both the base-case estimate (169 t) and the lower-risk estimate (150 t) of MSY in the 2006 stock assessment that estimated stock biomass to be at 0.26B0 to 0.67B0 (Patterson et al. 2016).

A formal stock assessment of Spanish Mackerel in the Torres Strait Spanish Mackerel Fishery (Commonwealth) was conducted in 2006, informed by data to 2003. The assessment uses a sex-specific age-structured population dynamics model to estimate biomass. A range of biological and effort reference points were assessed to evaluate various potential management strategies for the fishery. The assessment estimated that biomass in 2006 was 37 per cent (range 26–67 per cent) of the unfished level. Results of the assessment indicated that the base-case maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for Spanish Mackerel in the Torres Strait was 169 tonnes (t) per year, and annual catches of around 150 t per year would achieve a fishing mortality target of half natural mortality and result in decreased risk to the stock. The stock assessment concluded that the stock was likely to be harvested at levels near or exceeding MSY up to 2003. Catches since 2007–08 have been below both the base-case (169 t) and lower risk estimates of MSY (Begg et al. 2006).

The potential for ‘hyperstability’, where catch rates are maintained although biomass is declining, was raised as a concern for the TSSMF by Begg et al. (2006). Hyperstability might be expected to result from fishing operations focusing on spawning aggregations around Bramble Cay. Begg et al. (2006) standardised the catch rates, based on several variables, and included dory (fishing boat) day as the unit of effort. They noted that standardisation at a finer temporal scale might provide a more robust index of abundance.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 28 October 2016

Effort data is needed to interpret national and regional catch landings. This species likely comprises a number of stocks throughout its range, and conservation measures may be better implemented by national agencies, rather than regional management organizations (Begg et la. 2006, Patterson et al. 2016).

Reference Points

Last updated on 28 Oct 2016

Although there is no formal target or limit reference point for the fishery, 0.2B0 is the proxy specified in the HSP and is used for status determination in the absence of an agreed limit reference point (Begg et al. 2006).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 28 October 2016

Catches in 2014–15 were below the base-case and the lower-risk estimates of MSY in the 2006 stock assessment. On this basis, the stock is classified as not subject to overfishing.The stock is therefore not considered to be recruitment overfished, and the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished. On the basis of the evidence provided above, the biological stock is classified as a sustainable stock (Begg et la. 2006, Patterson et al. 2016).  

Trends

Last updated on 28 Oct 2016

In the Torres Strait, this species biomass has declined at least 40–50% since the 1980s. Catch in the TSSMF declined from a peak in 2000–01 of 251 t to around 100 t in 2008–09 and subsequent seasons. The 2014–15 catch of Spanish mackerel was 84 t (Begg et la. 2006, Patterson et al. 2016).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 28 October 2016

Leasing arrangements allow quota to be leased to non-TIB fishers, with the leasing revenue used for capacity building of the TIB fishing industry (TSRA 2013). The Torres Strait Finfish Fishery Management Plan 2013 requires harvest levels to be set at or below levels that maintain biologically viable stocks of target and non-target species, following consultation with the Torres Strait Fisheries Management Advisory Committee and other stakeholders.

There are several species-specific conservation measures for this species in Australia, where there are minimum size and bag limits. The Queensland Fishery is regulated under Queensland's Fisheries Regulations 1995. Regulations include a minimal size limit of 75 cm, that applies to both commercial and recreational fishers on the East Coast of Queensland. Recreational fishers are also limited to 30 school mackerel per fishing trip. These licenses also regulate fishing practices and gear.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 28 October 2016

Commercial gillnets interact with threatened, endangered and protected species. Although reported interactions are low, the impact on the populations of these species is unknown.

Other Species

Last updated on 28 October 2016

Targeted fishing for all Spanish Mackerel in Western Australia and most Spanish Mackerel fishing in the other jurisdictions uses trolled lines. This method has almost no direct impact on the habitats where it is used and results in little bycatch.

HABITAT

Last updated on 28 October 2016

The TSFF was reaccredited under part 13 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) on 9 July 2013 and under part 13A on 17 July 2013. The accreditation under part 13A expires on 25 November 2016.

No ecological risk assessments have been conducted for the TSFF. The strategic assessment report assumes that the impacts of fishing on the ecosystem are restricted to anchoring, mooring and other anthropogenic activities; vessel accidents, leading to pollution such as oil spills; and potential translocation of species via hull and anchor fouling. The report concludes that direct impacts on the environment are likely to be minimal because of the low-impact nature of the hook-and-line fishing methods used in the fishery.

Targeted fishing for all Spanish Mackerel in Western Australia and most Spanish Mackerel fishing in the other jurisdictions uses trolled lines. This method has almost no direct impact on the habitats where it is used and results in little bycatch.

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

STOCK HEALTH:

No data available
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No related analysis

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. Patterson, H, Noriega, R, Georgeson, L, Stobutzki, I & Curtotti, R 2016, Fishery status reports 2016, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 3.0. http://apo.org.au/files/Resource/00_fishstatus2016_1.0.0_lr.pdf​

  2. Begg, GA, Chen, CCM, O’Neill, MF & Rose, DB 2006, Stock assessment of the Torres Strait Spanish Mackerel Fishery, technical report 66, CRC Reef Research Centre, Townsville.

  3. Buckworth, R. C., Newman, S. J., Ovenden, J. R., Lester, R. J. G., and McPherson, G. R. (2007). The Stock Structure of Northern and Western Australian Spanish Mackerel. Final Report, Fisheries Research & Development Corporation Project 1998/159. Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines, Northern Territory Government, Australia. Fishery Report 88, i-vi, 225 p.http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Content/File/p/Fish_Rep/FR88.pdf

  4. Northern Territory Government (NTG), 2011. Fishery Status Reports 2009. Northern Territory Government, Department of Resources, Fishery Report No. 106, 165 p.http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Content/File/p/Fish_Rep/FR106.pdf

  5. Spanish Mackerel Fishery Management Plan, 2010. Northern Territory of Australia, 8 p.http://notes.nt.gov.au/dcm/legislat/legislat.nsf/2afcb7bfe1e1348e6925705a001697fb/102fd540c7e71e63692576a8000fee2a/$FILE/Repf009R7.pdf

  6. Mackie, M., Lewis, P. D., Gaughan, D. J. and Buckworth, R. C. 2003. Stock assessment of Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson) in Western Australia. Final Report. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation Project 1999/151. Fisheries Department of Western Australia.

  7. McPherson, G.R. 1992. Age and growth of the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson Lacepede, 1800) in northeastern Queensland waters. Austral. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 43: 1269-1282.

  8. Shaklee, J.B., S.R Phelps, and J. Saint. 1990. Analysis of fish stock structure and mixed-stock fisheries by the electrophoretic characterization of allelic isozymes. In: D.H. Whitmore (ed.), Electrophoretic and isoelectric focusing techniques in fisheries management,, pp. 174-196. CRC Press.

References

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    Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel - Torres Strait

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