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TIGER PRAWNS (2018)

Penaeus esculentus, Penaeus semisulcatus

  • James Larcombe (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences)
  • Brad Zeller (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Matthew Taylor (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Mervi Kangas (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)

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Summary

Tiger Prawn stocks in the COMM, NT, WA and QLD are sustainable. There is one negligible stock in NSW and one undefined stock in the COMM (Torres Strait). The assessment includes both Brown Tiger and Grooved Tiger Prawns.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn) NPF Sustainable Spawning stock size, effort
Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery (Grooved Tiger Prawn) NPF Sustainable Spawning stock size, effort
Commonwealth Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn) TSPF Undefined Biomass estimate, catch, effort
NPF
Northern Prawn Fishery (CTH)
TSPF
Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (CTH)
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Stock Structure

The standard name ‘Tiger Prawn’ refers to the species Penaeus esculentus, P. semisulcatus and P. japonicus. Only P. esculentus (Brown Tiger Prawn) and P. semisulcatus (Grooved Tiger Prawn) are considered in this chapter; P. japonicus is not caught commercially in Australian waters.

Brown Tiger Prawns are endemic to tropical and subtropical waters of Australia, while Grooved Tiger Prawns have a wider Indo–West Pacific distribution. There is some genetic evidence of separation of Brown Tiger Prawn stocks from the east and west coasts of Australia [Ward et al. 2006].

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—Northern Prawn Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn) , Northern Prawn Fishery (Grooved Tiger Prawn), Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn) (Commonwealth); Shark Bay Prawn Managed Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn), Exmouth Gulf Prawn Managed Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn) (Western Australia), North Coast Prawn Managed Fisheries (Brown Tiger Prawn) (Western Australia; East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (Brown and Grooved Tiger Prawn) (Queensland); and at the jurisdictional level—New South Wales (Brown Tiger Prawn).

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Stock Status

Northern Prawn Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn)

Brown and Grooved Tiger Prawn stocks are assessed as part of an integrated bioeconomic model analysis conducted for the Northern Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth) [Buckworth et al. 2016]. The base-case estimate of the size of the Brown Tiger Prawn spawner stock at the end of 2015, as a percentage of spawner stock size (S) at maximum sustainable yield (MSY; S2015/SMSY), was 175 per cent [Buckworth et al. 2016]. This estimate is higher than the base-case estimate of the size of the Brown Tiger Prawn spawner stock at the end 2013 which was 140 per cent of SMSY. Based on this, the management unit is not considered to be recruitment impaired [Larcombe et al. 2018]. In 2015, fishing effort was only 36 per cent of the level that would achieve MSY [Buckworth et al. 2016]. This level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause the management unit to become recruitment impaired.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Northern Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth) Brown Tiger Prawn management unit is classified as a sustainable stock.

Northern Prawn Fishery (Grooved Tiger Prawn)

The base-case estimate of the size of the Grooved Tiger Prawn spawner stock at the end of 2015, as a percentage of spawner stock size at MSY (S2015/SMSY), was 185 per cent [Buckworth et al. 2016]. This estimate is higher than the base-case estimate of the size of the Grooved Tiger Prawn spawner stock at the end 2013, which was 173 per cent of SMSY. The management unit is not considered to be recruitment impaired [Larcombe et al. 2018]. In 2015, fishing effort on Grooved Tiger Prawns was 83 per cent of the level that would achieve MSY [Buckworth et al. 2016]. Based on the above, this level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause the management unit to become recruitment impaired [Larcombe et al. 2018].

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Northern Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth) Grooved Tiger Prawn management unit is classified as a sustainable stock.

Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (Brown Tiger Prawn)

The most recent assessment of Brown Tiger Prawn in the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth) used two separate modelling approaches, producing two separate estimates of MSY and effort at MSY (EMSY) [O’Neill and Turnbull 2006]. Some components of the assessment were updated in 2007 [Taylor et al. 2007], providing a biomass estimate of between 60 and 80 per cent of the unfished (1980) level in the year 2006. This was considerably higher than the biomass that supports MSY (BMSY) which was estimated to be in the range of 28–38 per cent of the unfished level) [O’Neill and Turnbull 2006, Taylor et al. 2007]. The outputs from the 2007 stock assessment for Brown Tiger Prawn have become less relevant over time, with increased uncertainty due to highly variable recruitment, short life span, changes in fleet dynamics and vessel efficiency, and changes in catch and effort. Additionally, nominal catch rates for Tiger Prawn have declined since 2013, but remain above levels reported in the 1990s and early 2000s [Turnbull and Cocking 2018]. Uncertainty around the current level of biomass is increasing with time since the assessment, and the cause of recent declines in catch rates is unclear. The 2007 stock assessment is no longer regarded as a sound basis for determining current levels of biomass depletion. The above evidence indicates uncertainty over whether the biomass of this management unit is recruitment impaired.

The 2007 stock assessment [Taylor et al. 2007] estimates of MSY ranged from 606 to 676 tonnes (t) and catch has been below those levels since 2005. The estimated fishing effort at MSY (EMSY) ranged from 8 245 to 9 197 fishing nights and, similarly, effort in the fishery has been well below those levels since 2004 with less than 50per cent of available fishing nights used each year since 2008. However, uncertainty around the current level of MSY, and therefore EMSY, is increasing with time since the most recent stock assessment. The above evidence indicates uncertainty over whether the current level of fishing pressure is likely to cause the management unit to become recruitment impaired.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth) Brown Tiger Prawn management unit is classified as an undefined stock.

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Biology

Brown and Grooved Tiger Prawn biology [Kangas et al. 2015 a,b, Somers 1987, Yearsley et al. 1999]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
TIGER PRAWNS 1–2 years, 55 mm CL  East Coast: ~6 month, 32–39 mm CL West coast: ~6 months, 27–35 mm CL Northern Australia: ~6 months, 32–39 mm CL
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Tiger Prawns
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Tables

Fishing methods
Commonwealth
Commercial
Otter Trawl
Management methods
Method Commonwealth
Commercial
Effort limits
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Spatial closures
Temporal closures
Vessel restrictions
Active vessels
Commonwealth
52 in NPF, 13 in TSPF
NPF
Northern Prawn Fishery (CTH)
TSPF
Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (CTH)
Catch
Commonwealth
Commercial 1.08Kt in NPF, 111.03t in TSPF
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational Unknown
NPF
Northern Prawn Fishery (CTH)
TSPF
Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (CTH)

Commonwealth – Recreational The Australian Government does not manage recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters. Recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the state or territory immediately adjacent to those waters, under its management regulations.

Commonwealth – Indigenous The Australian Government does not manage non-commercial Indigenous fishing in Commonwealth waters, with the exception of the Torres Strait. In general, non-commercial Indigenous fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the state or territory immediately adjacent to those waters. In the Torres Strait, both commercial and non-commercial Indigenous fishing is managed by the Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) through the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (Commonwealth); the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Queensland); and the Torres Strait Regional Authority. The PZJA also manages non-Indigenous commercial fishing in the Torres Strait.

Queensland – Indigenous In Queensland, under the Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld), Indigenous fishers are able to use prescribed traditional and non-commercial fishing apparatus in waters open to fishing. Size and possession limits, and seasonal closures do not apply to Indigenous fishers. Further exemptions to fishery regulations can be obtained through permits.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Tiger Prawns - note confidential catch not shown
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References

  1. Buckworth, RC, Hutton, T, Deng, R, Upston, J 2016, Status of the Northern Prawn Fishery Tiger Prawn fishery at the end of 2015 with TAE estimation for 2016, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra, 2016.
  2. Caputi, N 1993, Aspects of spawner-recruit relationships, with particular reference to crustacean stocks: a review, Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 44: 589–607.
  3. Caputi, N, de Lestang, S,Hart, A, Kangas, M, Johnston, D and Penn, J 2014b, Catch Predictions in Stock Assessment and Management of Invertebrate Fisheries Using Pre-Recruit Abundance—Case Studies from Western Australia, Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture, 22:1, 36-54.
  4. Caputi, N, Feng, M, Pearce, A, Benthuysen, J, Denham, A, Hetzel, Y, Matear, R, Jackson, G, Molony, B, Joll, L and Chandrapavan, A 2014a, Management implications of climate change effect on fisheries in Western Australia: part 1, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation project 2010/535, Fisheries research report, Western Australian Department of Fisheries.
  5. Caputi, N, Kangas, M, Hetzel, Y, Denham, A, Pearce, A and Chandrapavan, A 2016, Management adaptation of invertebrate fisheries to an extreme marine heat wave event at a global warming hotspot. Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2137
  6. Caputi, N, Penn, JW, Joll, LM and Chubb, CF 1998, Stock–recruitment–environment relationships for invertebrate species of Western Australia, in GS Jamieson and A Campbell (eds), Proceedings of the North Pacific Symposium on Invertebrate Stock Assessment and Management, Canadian Special Publication of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 125: 247–255.
  7. Department of Fisheries 2014, Shark Bay Prawn Managed Fishery Harvest Strategy 2014–2019, Fisheries Management Paper No. 267, Department of Fisheries, Western Australia.
  8. Department of Fisheries 2015, Harvest Strategy Policy and Operational Guidelines for the Aquatic Resources of Western Australia, Fisheries Management Paper No. 271, Department of Fisheries, Western Australia.
  9. Department of Fisheries 2018, Exmouth Gulf Prawn Managed Fishery Harvest Strategy 2014 – 2019 Version 1.1. Fisheries Management Paper No. 265. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia.
  10. Gaughan D, Santoro K (eds.) 2018, State of the fisheries and aquatic resources report 2016/17, Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Perth.
  11. Jacobsen, I, Zeller, B, Dunning, M, Garland, A, Courtney T, & Jebreen, E, An Ecological Risk Assessment of the Southern Queensland East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery and River and Inshore Beam Trawl Fishery, Fisheries Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  12. Kangas, MI, Sporer, EC, Hesp, SA, Travaille, KL, Brand-Gardner, SJ, Cavalli, P and Harry, AV 2015b, Shark Bay Prawn Managed Fishery, Western Australian Marine Stewardship Council Report Series 2: 294 pp.
  13. Kangas, MI, Sporer, EC, Hesp, SA, Travaille, KL, Moore, N, Cavalli, P and Fisher, EA 2015a, Exmouth Gulf Prawn Managed Fishery, Western Australian Marine Stewardship Council Report Series 1: 273 pp.
  14. Larcombe, J, Marton, N and Curtotti, R, 2018, Northern Prawn Fishery, in H Patterson, J Larcombe, S Nicol and R Curtotti (eds), Fishery status reports 2018, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra.
  15. Larcombe, J, Zeller, B, Kangas, M and Taylor, M, 2016, Tiger Prawns, Penaeus esculentus, Penaeus semiculcatus, in Carolyn Stewardson, James Andrews, Crispian Ashby, Malcolm Haddon, Klaas Hartmann, Patrick Hone, Peter Horvat, Stephen Mayfield, Anthony Roelofs, Keith Sainsbury, Thor Saunders, John Stewart, Ilona Stobutzki and Brent Wise (eds) 2016, Status of Australian fish stocks reports 2016, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra.
  16. O’Neill, MF and Turnbull, CT 2006, Stock assessment of the Torres Strait Tiger Prawn Fishery (Penaeus esculentus), Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  17. Pears, RJ, Morison, AK, Jebreen, EJ, Dunning, MC, Pitcher, CR, Courtney, AJ, Houlden, B and Jacobsen, IP 2012, Ecological risk assessment of the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: technical report, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville.
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  19. Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries 2018, Queensland Stock Status Assessment Workshop Proceedings 2018. Species Summaries. 19-20 June 2018, Brisbane.
  20. Somers, IE 1987, Sediment type as a factor in the distribution of commercial prawn species in the Western Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 38: 133–149.
  21. Taylor, S, Turnbull, C, Marrington, J and George, M (eds) 2007, Torres Strait prawn handbook 2007, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.
  22. Turnbull, C and Cocking, L 2018, Torres Strait Prawn Fishery Data Summary 2017, Australian Fisheries Management Authority. Canberra, Australia.
  23. Wang, N, 2015, Application of a weekly delay-difference model to commercial catch and effort data in multi-species fisheries, PhD Thesis, University of Queensland and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  24. Ward, R, Ovenden, J, Meadows, J, Grewe, P and Lehnert, S 2006, Population genetic structure of the brown tiger prawn, Penaeus esculentus, in tropical northern Australia, Marine Biology, 148(3): 599–607.
  25. Wise, BS, St. John, J and Lenanton, R 2007, Spatial scales of exploitation among populations of demersal scalefish: Implications for management. Part 1: Stock status of the key indicator species for the demersal scalefish fishery in the West Coast Bioregion. Report to the FRDC on Project No. 2003/052. Fisheries Research Report No 163. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, 130 pp.
  26. Yearsley, GK, Last, PR and Ward, RD 1999, Australian seafood handbook: domestic species, CSIRO Marine Research, Hobart.