Biological monitoring of commercial species
Fisheries Queensland collects representative biological information from priority commercial species.
Sampling focuses on collecting length and sex data. Age data is also recorded for fish species collected. The age of a fish is estimated by counting the number of rings on the 'ear bone', called an otolith, in much the same way as a tree is aged. Collecting this information from commercial catches, as well as similar information from the recreational sector, helps Fisheries Queensland develop a clear picture of the whole fishery for each species.
Commercial fishers, seafood wholesalers and retailers voluntarily participate in Fisheries Queensland's species-specific monitoring programs by donating fish frames, or allowing us to measure fish, and sometimes to remove otoliths. Fisheries Queensland staff travel to collect the specimens or biological material as required, and therefore participation in this monitoring program is carried out with minimal disruption to commercial activities.
The species currently monitored with the assistance of the commercial fishing sector are:
- bream, whiting and flathead
- king threadfin
- rocky reef fish (e.g. snapper and pearl perch)
- sea mullet
- Spanish mackerel
- spotted mackerel
Spanner crabs are also collected with the help of commercial fishers through a dedicated scientific survey once a year.
- Find out about the vessel monitoring system (VMS) used by Fisheries Queensland.