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Snook (2018)

Sphyraena novaehollandiae

  • Bradley Moore (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • John Stewart (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Brett Molony (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Jeremy Lyle (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Mike Steer (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Brent Womersley (Victorian Fisheries Authority)

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

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Summary

Also known as Shortfin Pike, Snook is distributed around southern Australia. Stock status is sustainable in SA, TAS and WA. It is negligible in NSW and undefined in VIC.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Western Australia Western Australia CSFNMF, SCEMF, SWCBNF, WL (SC) Sustainable Catch, indicator species, risk assessment, stock reduction analyses
CSFNMF
Cockburn Sound (Fish Net) Managed Fishery (WA)
SCEMF
South Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery (WA)
SWCBNF
South West Coast Beach Net Fishery (Order) (WA)
WL (SC)
Open Access in the South Coast (WA)
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Stock Structure

Also known as Shortfin Pike, Snook is distributed around southern Australia from Jurien Bay in Western Australia to southern Queensland, including Tasmania. Snook are usually found over seagrass beds and kelp reefs near the surface both in inshore and offshore waters of up to 20 m [Bertoni 1995, Edgar 2008, Gormon et al. 2008]. There is no information available on the stock structure of Snook in Australian waters.

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the jurisdictional level—Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

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Stock Status

Western Australia

In Western Australia, Snook and Pike (Family: Sphyraenidae) are very minor components of commercial and recreational catches. Commercially, the highest catches of Snook were reported from the Wet Line sector in the Open Access in the South Coast (WA), but catches have been less than 3 tonnes (t) prior to 2014 and less than 5 t in subsequent years. Snook are not targeted by any sector and there is no evidence that catches have fluctuated greatly through time.

All assessments in Western Australia are undertaken using a weight of evidence approach. For Snook, the lines of evidence considered included: catches, catch distribution, effort, vulnerability assessment (Productivity Susceptibility Analysis) and stock reduction analyses (Catch-MSY) [Haddon and Punt 2018]. Furthermore, Catch-MSY forward projections (based on recent catch levels) indicate biomass remains well above the point of recruitment impairment (BMSY limit reference point) under current management arrangements. In addition, in Western Australia, all finfish species are allocated to a species suite [Department of Fisheries 2011]. Snook are part of the nearshore suite in temperate waters of Western Australia. Indicator species are identified, based on biological vulnerability and frequency of capture and include King George Whiting, Australian Salmon and Sea Mullet. As these indicator species have been assessed as sustainable under current management, and given the very low Snook catches and the weight of evidence assessment, the current risk level for the Western Australia Snook stock is estimated to be “Medium”. Therefore, current status of the Snook stock in Western Australia is “Acceptable-Sustainable” and no new management is required.

The available information indicates that the biomass is not depleted and recruitment is unlikely to be impaired. The current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to lead to recruitment impairment.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, Snook in Western Australia is classified as a sustainable stock.

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Biology

Snook biology [Bertoni 1995, Edgar 2008, Gormon et al. 2008]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Snook 20 years, 1 100 mm TL 420 mm TL 
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Snook
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Tables

Fishing methods
Western Australia
Commercial
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Dropline
Trolling
Gillnet
Beach Seine
Haul Seine
Unspecified
Charter
Hook and Line
Recreational
Hook and Line
Trolling
Management methods
Method Western Australia
Charter
Bag limits
Licence
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial closures
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Spatial closures
Indigenous
Bag limits
Recreational
Bag and possession limits
Bag limits
Licence
Size limit
Spatial closures
Active vessels
Western Australia
3 in Charter, <3 in CSFNMF, 6 in SCEMF, 5 in SWCBNF, <3 in WL (NC || GC || WC), 20 in WL (SC)
Charter
Tour Operator (WA)
CSFNMF
Cockburn Sound (Fish Net) Managed Fishery (WA)
SCEMF
South Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery (WA)
SWCBNF
South West Coast Beach Net Fishery (Order) (WA)
WL (NC || GC || WC)
Open Access in the North Coast, Gascoyne Coast and West Coast Bioregions (WA)
WL (SC)
Open Access in the South Coast (WA)
Catch
Western Australia
Commercial 3.92t in CSFNMF, SCEMF, SWCBNF, WL (SC)
Charter 0.028 t in Charter
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational 0.37 t (± 0.13) t (2015–16)
CSFNMF
Cockburn Sound (Fish Net) Managed Fishery (WA)
SCEMF
South Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery (WA)
SWCBNF
South West Coast Beach Net Fishery (Order) (WA)
WL (SC)
Open Access in the South Coast (WA)

Western Australia – Recreational (catch) Western Australia boat-based recreational catch from 1 September 2015–30 November 2016. Shore based catches are largely unknown.

Western Australia – Recreational (management methods) In Western Australia, a recreational fishing from boat licence is required to take finfish from a powered vessel.

Victoria – Commercial (catch) Snook is not differentiated from Longfin Pike caught in Victorian commercial fisheries.

Victoria – Indigenous In Victoria, regulations for managing recreational fishing may not apply to fishing activities by Indigenous people. Victorian traditional owners may have rights under the Commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993 to hunt, fish, gather and conduct other cultural activities for their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs without the need to obtain a licence. Traditional Owners that have agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) may also be authorised to fish without the requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence. Outside of these arrangements, Indigenous Victorians can apply for permits under the Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic) that authorise fishing for specific Indigenous cultural ceremonies or events (for example, different catch and size limits or equipment). There were no Indigenous permits granted in 2017 and hence no Indigenous catch recorded.

Tasmania – Recreational (management methods) In Tasmania, a recreational licence is required for fishers using dropline or longline gear, along with nets, such as gillnet or beach seine.

Tasmania – Commercial (catch) Catches reported for the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery are for the period 1 July to 30 June the following year. The most recent assessment available is for 2016–17.

Tasmania – Indigenous (management methods) In Tasmania, Indigenous persons engaged in aboriginal fishing activities in marine waters are exempt from holding recreational fishing licences, but must comply with all other fisheries rules as if they were licensed. If using pots, rings, set lines or gillnets, Indigenous fishers must obtain a unique identifying code (UIC). The policy document Recognition of Aboriginal Fishing Activities for issuing a UIC to a person for Aboriginal Fishing activity explains the steps to take in making an application for a UIC.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Snook - note confidential catch not shown
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References

Downloadable reports

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