The set pocket (stow) net prawn fishery of the Mary River (Queensland, Australia) and its by-catch

Daryl Peter McPhee, Greg A. Skilleter

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The daytime by-catch of the Mary River, in southeast Queensland (Australia), set pocket net prawn fishery was examined during the 2000 season and found to be dominated by fin fish species of no commercial or recreational significance. There were 14,899 individual fin fish of 43 species weighing 144.9 kg, 28 ‘shrimps’ (Macrobrachium novaehollandiae), 5 mudcrabs (Scylla serrata), 3 leaf carrying crabs (Paradorippe australiensis), and 1 green turtle(Chelonia mydas) recorded as by-catch in this study. The overall ratio of the weight of prawn catch to fin fish by-catch was 1:1.77, which is low compared with most prawn fisheries.However, the ratio was highly variable between lifts of the net. Compared to trawling as a method for catching prawns in estuaries, set pocket nets generally had lower catch rates of important commercial and recreational fin fish species and did not use fuel during fishing operations. Any expansion of the set pocket fishery should be conducted on a trial basis with on-board monitoring in any new river systems to determine by-catch in those systems(including the potential to interact with marine turtles).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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