Fishos asked to assist in fish management research

REC fishers in NSW are being encouraged to play a key role in research by donating their catches of fish to help scientists from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) gain more information for monitoring fish stocks so they can be managed efficiently and effectively.

DPI Executive Director for Fisheries NSW, Dr Geoff Allan, said the NSW Research Angler
Program is a new project established using funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing
Trust, which relies on the enthusiasm of the State’s one million recreational fishers to
collect vital biological information on the fish they catch.

“This unique program allows recreational fishers to be directly involved in the assessment and monitoring of some of their favourite species which will help provide our researchers with vital data to manage the species for future generations,” Dr Allan said.

“The two year program is commencing with one of the State’s most iconic recreational
species, Mulloway.”

Mulloway have been selected as a priority species for study due to their popularity and
ongoing concerns for the health of the mulloway stock. Mulloway stocks in NSW are
currently assessed as being overfished and new management arrangements are currently being considered to assist with rebuilding the population to a more healthy state.

“While Mulloway can live for more than 30 years, the majority of the individuals in the NSW stock are less than five years old, so clearly the stock needs close attention,” Dr Allan said.

“Data gathered from this program will improve the picture on the overall status of this
important species.”

Dr Allan asked fishers to donate the frames (skeletons including heads) from fish they
catch and choose to keep at participating tackle stores along the NSW coast from Tweed
Heads to Bermagui.

“Once we collect the donated frames, they will be processed in the DPI’s laboratories and our researchers will record length, sex and reproductive state, and by analysing the
earbones (otoliths), will be able to determine the age of the fish,” Dr Allan said.

“The data collected from the fish will be used to build an improved picture of the age
structure of the overall population.

“By collecting data over time we can evaluate the health of important recreational species and see how the age structure of the Mulloway population in NSW may be changing.”
How it works:
• Donate your Mulloway frames to any participating tackle store drop-off point throughout
NSW. Frames can be donated fresh or frozen.
• Provide details on the capture including when, where and who caught the fish.
• Every frame donated entitles the angler to be entered into a monthly prize draw to win
a $50 gift voucher for use in a fishing tackle store or fishing tackle to the value of $50.
• Every angler who donates a Mulloway frame will receive a certificate detailing the
biological information collected from the fish they caught as well as updated program
Dr Allan said details of the catch will be kept confidential to ensure secret fishing spots are not revealed.
“Anglers can rest assured we won’t be publicising exactly where and when the fish were
caught, these details will be kept strictly confidential so you can continue to enjoy your
favourite secret fishing spots,” he said.

The program commences on 1 September 2013 and continues until 31 September 2015. Monthly prizes are drawn at the end of each season.

More info available at:

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