Assessing the stock status of holobenthic octopus fisheries: is catch per unit effort sufficient?
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Leporati, S and Ziegler, PE and Semmens, JM, Assessing the stock status of holobenthic octopus fisheries: is catch per unit effort sufficient?, I C E S Journal of Marine Science: (International Council for The Exploration of The Sea), 66, (3) pp. 478-487. ISSN 1054-3139 (2009) [Refereed Article]
Holobenthic and merobenthic octopus fisheries are commonly treated as biological equivalents, regardless of their contrasting life-history strategies. This is the consequence of a lack of species identification and relevant biological information for many species, which has led to a reliance on catch per unit effort (cpue) data for stock status assessments. Using the commercial Octopus pallidus fishery in southeast Australian waters as a case study, the reliability of commercial cpue data as an indicator of stock status for holobenthic octopus fisheries was assessed. To achieve this, cpue and biological information from a fixed position experimental research line were investigated for consistency in stock status patterns and compared with commercial fishery cpue trends. Research line results revealed that cpue could remain stable regardless of size-selective fishing mortality potentially impacting recruitment. The cpue in the commercial fishery was very seasonal and dominated by females during autumn, when both cpue and spawning periods peaked, so increasing the potential for negative fishery impacts on egg production. The inability of cpue to account for the effects of continual fishing pressure on recruitment or seasonal changes in sex-specific catchability, however, indicates that cpue alone cannot provide sufficient information on the status of a holobenthic octopus fishery. © 2009 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved.
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