Impacts of fishing regulations on the sustainability of Murray crayfish (Euastacus armatus), Australia: Social and biological perspectives

Sylvia Zukowski

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    780 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    patchy distributions in the fished datasets are of concern and highlight the vulnerability of spatially independent sub-populations. Thus, as suggested by recreational fishers, a total closure of the Murray crayfish fishery may be advisable until populations to recover.Murray crayfish data from the spatial (1,250 km river reach) and temporal (230 km river reach) focused sampling designs were compared to determine the best research method for collection of data to inform management decisions for Murray crayfish. High similarities in the biological dynamics between the two sampling designs suggest that the choice of sampling method does not affect outcomes for characterising spatially-independent species. However, high variability within sampling designs demonstrates the need to (a) sample at a time of year which maximises CPUE and (b) maximise the number of sites to represent a larger proportion of the population. Further, where resources are scarce, sampling at a smaller geographical scale would produce beneficial information, as I found that the data from a small part of the species range was transferable to the whole population across a broader geographical area. Monitoring of Murray crayfish populations and the review of the appropriateness of fishing regulations should be an ongoing task. The aim of this research was to contribute new knowledge to assist a shift towards a more sustainable fishery. This research illustrates the wealth of knowledge that fishers have about their local resource and the management needs associated with it and that fisher LEK can indeed be a reliable source of information for use in fisheries management. It also highlights the effects of fishing and the associated fishing regulations on crayfish populations including changes in abundance, size frequencies and sex ratios and effects of handling pressure on the eggs of berried females. Th
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Watts, Robyn, Co-Supervisor
    • Curtis, Allan, Co-Supervisor
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publisher
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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