New Paper: Population biology and vulnerability to fishing of deep-water Eteline snappers

A new paper involving Environment Institute members Kim Loeun (also ADECAL), Camille Mellin (also Australian Institute of Marine Science) and Corey Bradshaw (also SARDI), as well as A.J Williams (Oceanic Fisheries Programme), S.J Nicol (Oceanic Fisheries Programme), P. Chavance (ADECAL), M. Ducrocq (ADECAL), S.J Harley (Oceanic Fisheries Programme), G.M Pilling (Oceanic Fisheries Programme) and V. Allain (Oceanic Fisheries Programme) has recently been published in the Journal of Applied Ichthyology.

The paper titled ‘Population biology and vulnerability to fishing of deep-water Eteline snappers’ looks into the concern from fisheries about the sustainability of current fishing rates of deep-water fish in the tropical and sub-tropical Pacific Ocean.

Currently, significant assessments of deep-water stocks in the Pacific region have been limited by the lack of suitable biological and fisheries data. However, estimates are provided of age-based demographic parameters for two important deep-water snapper species in the Pacific, Etelis carbunculus and E. coruscans. The study applied a spawner biomass-per-recruit (SPR) model to determine fishing mortality rates for each species that would achieve specified biological targets and limit reference points, and examine the sensitivity of the model to variation in natural mortality and age at first capture. The SPR analysis demonstrated that lower rates of fishing mortality were required for the E. coruscans species than for the E. carbunculus species to maintain spawning biomass above estimated biological reference points. The results showed that estimates of SPR were more sensitive to variation in natural mortality than in the age at first capture, suggesting that regulating fishing mortality rather than gear selectivity would be a more effective management measure for both species.

Read the paper to find out more about this research.

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