Environmental change impacting some Queensland fisheries – UQ News
A collaborative research project to identify and measure the effects of environmental factors on several key Queensland fishing species – snapper, pearl perch and key crab – has come to an end.
The work, involving researchers from the University of Queensland, was timely, given concerns about changing environmental conditions affecting the abundance and distribution of fish stocks.
The species studied in the study require management changes to rebuild stocks from low levels.
Susannah Leahy, co-investigator of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), said the project had identified a number of environmental influences on target species that could contribute to current stock levels and could have long-term impacts on the future abundance and distribution of these species in Queensland. waters.
“For example, the number of juvenile snappers settling in coastal nursery habitats is significantly higher after cooler spawning seasons and when high planktonic food availability coincides with the end of the open water snapper larval stage.” said Dr Leahy.
These environmental factors were then incorporated into fish biomass models to study their effect on restoring fish stocks to sustainable levels.
The team integrated these models into a Rapid Adaptive Projections Tool (RAPT), an interactive software platform where users can explore the effects of different environmental conditions and harvest rates on stock recovery.
The results of the project will be presented by Dr Wen-Hsi Yang of UQ at the next World Fisheries Congress in Adelaide in September.
The results of this work will be provided to Fisheries Queensland to guide the sustainable management of these species in Queensland waters.
The project was co-funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of scientists from UQ, DAF and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).