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BANANA PRAWNS (2018)

Penaeus indicus & Penaeus merguiensis

  • James Larcombe (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences)
  • Lisa Walton (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland)
  • Mervi Kangas (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)

You are currently viewing a report filtered by jurisdiction. View the full report.

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Summary

Banana prawns are found across northern Australia, from WA to QLD. They are sustainable across all jurisdictions. Harvests are highly dependent on seasonal conditions, which influence prawn populations from year to year.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Queensland East Coast ECIFFF, ECOTF, RIBTF Sustainable Catch, stock assessments
ECIFFF
East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery (QLD)
ECOTF
East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (QLD)
RIBTF
River and Inshore Beam Trawl Fishery (QLD)
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Stock Structure

In Australia the standard fish name Banana Prawn is a group name which refers to Fenneropenaeus merguiensis and Fenneropenaeus indicus [Ferfante and Kensley 1997]. Both species have also been placed in the genus Penaeus with taxonomy still unsettled [Ma et al. 2011]. Here, only Fenneropenaeus merguiensis is considered, and referred to as Banana Prawn. The biological stock structure of Banana Prawn is uncertain. There is some evidence that there may be separate biological stocks of Banana Prawn within the Northern Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth); however, the boundaries of the biological stocks are unknown [Yearsley et al. 1999]. Stocks in Western Australia and Queensland are widely separated, but it is not known whether these are completely independent stocks [Tanimoto et al. 2006].

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—Northern Prawn Fishery (Commonwealth); Exmouth Gulf Prawn Managed Fishery, Nickol Bay and Onslow Prawn Managed Fisheries, Kimberley Prawn Managed Fishery (Western Australia); and East Coast (Queensland).

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Stock Status

East Coast

There appears to be no long-term trend in the annual Banana Prawn catch with total catches showing considerable variation between years. In more recent years, these fluctuations have become more pronounced with a record high total catch reported in 2011 (1374 t), followed by a record low total catch in 2012 (331 t) and the second-highest total catch in 2013 (1151 t). These fluctuations were reflected in the effort data with total annual effort peaking in 1998 at 14 858 days fished before declining to between 4 287 (2012) and 11 103 (2004) days fished over the 2000–17 period.

Environmental factors would more than likely have contributed to these fluctuations since rainfall and river flow rates are intimately linked to Banana Prawn recruitment rates and biomass availability [Tanimoto et al. 2006]. The most recent quantitative assessment of the East Coast (Queensland) management unit was based on catch-and-effort data from 1988–2004 and estimated an average annual MSY estimate of 802 t [Tanimoto et al. 2006]. Total commercial catch of Banana Prawns following 2013 has stabilized at a level below the MSY estimate; at 442–785 t [Tanimoto et al. 2006]. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of the management unit is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired.

Recent ecological risk assessments found that there was a low risk of the management unit becoming recruitment overfished at 2009 effort levels [Pears et al. 2012, Jacobsen et al. 2018]. Since 2009, there has been a 7 per cent decrease in effort directed at Banana Prawn (days when Banana Prawn was caught), indicating that, despite an increase in fishing power in the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery fleet (0.4–3.1 per cent per year) [O’Neill and Leigh 2007], fishing pressure on the management unit is not increasing. The above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the management unit to become recruitment impaired.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the East Coast (Queensland) management unit is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Banana Prawn biology [Huber 2003, Tanimoto et al. 2006, Yearsley et al. 1999]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
BANANA PRAWNS 1–2 years; > 240 mm TL  ~6 months; 120–150 mm CL 
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of BANANA PRAWNS
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Tables

Fishing methods
Queensland
Commercial
Beam Trawl
Otter Trawl
Net
Indigenous
Cast Net
Recreational
Cast Net
Management methods
Method Queensland
Charter
Gear restrictions
Possession limit
Spatial closures
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Spatial closures
Temporal closures
Vessel restrictions
Recreational
Gear restrictions
Possession limit
Spatial closures
Active vessels
Queensland
21 in ECIFFF, 160 in ECOTF, 45 in RIBTF
ECIFFF
East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery (QLD)
ECOTF
East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (QLD)
RIBTF
River and Inshore Beam Trawl Fishery (QLD)
Catch
Queensland
Commercial 11.72t in ECIFFF, 645.48t in ECOTF, 123.74t in RIBTF
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational Unknown
ECIFFF
East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery (QLD)
ECOTF
East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery (QLD)
RIBTF
River and Inshore Beam Trawl Fishery (QLD)

Commonwealth – Recreational and Indigenous Subject to the defence that applies under Section 211 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), and the exemption from a requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence, the non-commercial take by indigenous fishers is covered by the same arrangements as that for recreational fishing. 

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.

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 BANANA PRAWNS - note confidential catch not shown
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References

  1. Dichmont, CM, Jarrett, A, Hill, F and Brown, M 2014, Harvest strategy for the Northern Prawn Fishery under input control, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.
  2. Gaughan, DJ and Santoro, K (eds) 2018, State of the fisheries and aquatic resources report 2016/17, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia.
  3. Huber, D 2003, Audit of the management of the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville,
  4. Jacobsen, I, Zeller, B, Dunning, M, Garland, A, Courtney, T, Jebreen, E 2018, An ecological risk assessment of the East Coast Trawl Fishery in Southern Queensland including the River and Inshore Beam Trawl Fishery, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  5. 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.
  6. Ma, KY, Chan, T-Y and Chu, KH 2011, Refuting the six-genus classification of Penaeus s.l. (Dendrobranchiata, Penaeidae): a combined analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Zoologica Scripta, 40: 498–508.
  7. O’Neill, MF and Leigh, GM 2007, Fishing power increases continue in Queensland’s East Coast Trawl Fishery, Australia, Fisheries Research, 85: 84–92.
  8. 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.
  9. Perez Farfante, I and Kensley, BF 1997, Penaeids and Sergestoid Shrimps and Prawns of the World: Keys and Diagnoses for the Families and Genera. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, 233 p.
  10. Tanimoto, M, Courtney, AJ, O’Neil, MF and Leigh, GM 2006, Stock assessment of the Queensland (Australia) east coast banana prawn (Penaeus merguiensis), Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  11. Venables, WN, Hutton, T, Lawrence, E, Rothlisberg, P, Buckworth, R, Hartcher, M and Kenyon, R 2011, Prediction of common banana prawn potential catch in Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra.
  12. Yearsley, GK, Last, PR and Ward, RD 1999, Australian seafood handbook: domestic species, CSIRO Marine Research, Hobart.
  13. Zhou, S, Dichmont, CM, Burridge, CY, Venables, WV, Toscas, PJ and Vance, D 2007, Is catchability density-dependent for schooling prawns, Fisheries Research, 85: 23–36.

Downloadable reports

Click the links below to view reports from other years for this fish.