Industry and Investment NSW researchers have received funding from the Recreational Fishing Trust to unlock the secret life of the rock blackfish in the Sydney region.
Wild Fisheries Research leader Dr Charles Gray said very little is known about the biology and ecology of rock blackfish, commonly called black drummer.
“Rock blackfish is a popular angling species inhabiting near shore coastal waters and rocky reefs along eastern Australia,” Gray said.
“There is limited information on the recreational fishery for the species and the life history and ecological information available indicates it is vulnerable to overfishing.
“We need to look into their private world to obtain the baseline biological and fisheries related information essential for the future management of species,” he said.
Gray said the aim of the study is to provide new information on the reproduction, age, growth, population structure, movements and the potentially complex habitat – life history interactions of rock blackfish, as well as to document the recreational fishery (where, when, sizes retained and released, catch rates) for the species in New South Wales.
He says the results from the project will lead to a greater understanding of the fish and the information collected will be used to inform recreational fisheries managers, resource assessment scientists, and the rec fishing community.