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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
Tasmania Tasmania SF Sustainable Catch, effort, CPUE trends, catch curve analysis
SF
Scalefish Fishery (TAS)
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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

Tasmania

The fishery for Snook in Tasmania is small and mainly limited to northern areas of the state. Snook, for the most part, are a byproduct species, but may be targeted opportunistically by a small number of fishers. Commercially, Snook is usually targeted through the use of troll or small mesh net fishing gear and as a byproduct of beach seining and gillnetting [Moore et al. 2018]. Prior to 2000, commercial landings of Snook averaged 15 t per year, before declining to around 5 t in the mid-2000s. Since 2005, landings have remained fairly stable, averaging 6–9 t per year [Moore et al. 2018]. These catch estimates are slightly lower than recent estimates of MSY based on Catch-MSY estimation methods [Haddon and Punt 2018], which estimate MSY in State waters to be just under 10 t. Trolling effort for Snook has been relatively stable in recent years, while mesh net effort has been variable. Catch rates have also been variable for both methods, likely due to the species not being actively targeted, but show no evidence of long-term decline. A recent catch-curve analysis based on fishery-dependent sampling in the north of the state estimated fishing mortality (F) to be low, with F estimated one quarter of natural mortality (M) (F=0.06 yr-1, M=0.24 yr-1) [Webb 2017]. While there are no estimates of recreational landings (by weight), evidence suggests that the species is not a major recreational target and when caught, most individuals are released. The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired. Furthermore, the above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, Snook in Tasmania 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
Tasmania
Commercial
Hand Line, Hand Reel or Powered Reels
Trolling
Various
Recreational
Hook and Line
Trolling
Gillnet
Management methods
Method Tasmania
Commercial
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Indigenous
Bag and possession limits
Bag limits
Recreational
Bag and possession limits
Bag limits
Licence
Active vessels
Tasmania
19 in SF
SF
Scalefish Fishery (TAS)
Catch
Tasmania
Commercial 9.37t in SF
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational Unknown
SF
Scalefish Fishery (TAS)

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