Skip to main content

Free Content Relationships between estuarine habitats and coastal fisheries in Queensland, Australia

Download Article:
(PDF 456.3017578125 kb)
Worldwide, estuaries have been recognized as critical habitats for nearshore fish productivity through their capacity as nursery grounds and nutrient sources. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the importance of the habitat characteristics of estuaries to commercial fish catch in Queensland, Australia, with particular focus on the role of mangrove, saltmarsh, and seagrass habitats, and their connectivity. Traditionally, such analyses have taken the single-habitat approach, i.e., assessing the value of individual habitat types. Combined occurrence of these habitats and their collective accessibility may better explain the importance of estuaries to nekton. A literature review identifies the role of estuaries as integrated systems for fisheries. Our study provides strong supportive evidence for habitat-based, not species-based, management of fisheries in Queensland. Outcomes from preliminary analyses in Queensland suggest that collective spatial characteristics of estuarine habitats such as size and structural connectivity significantly correlate with fish catch data with r2 values > 0.7 for 17 commercial species groups. The catch of one quarter of the investigated species was best explained by the presence of mud- and sandflats. An exploration of currently available data on habitat distribution and fisheries catch shows the need to scrutinise their spatial and temporal accuracy, and how best to use them to understand estuarine-fisheries links. We conclude that structural connectivity of estuarine habitats is fundamental to the size of fish stocks and to optimizing the sustainable yield for commercial and recreational fishers.

39 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-05-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more