South east Queensland bream, whiting and flathead stock assessment


YELLOWFIN bream, sand whiting and dusky flathead are major target species for both commercial and recreational fishers in south east Queensland. Their fishery and regional social and economic importance prompted stock assessments to inform on the sustainability of fishing. The assessments covered both estuarine and ocean-beach waters between Baffle Creek north of Bundaberg and Coolangatta on the Gold Coast.

Over the last five years (2013 to 2017), the South East Queensland total harvest for yellowfin bream, sand whiting and dusky flathead averaged 242, 272 and 121 tonnes per year respectively.

Bream biomass was estimated to be at 33.8 per cent of unfished biomass, while whiting biomass in 2017 was estimated as 28.7 per cent of unfished biomass. The status of flathead is more uncertain than bream and whiting. The precautionary estimate of dusky flathead biomass in the Moreton region in 2017 was between 36 per cent and 39 per cent of unfished spawning biomass.

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