Factors affecting recreational catch rates associated with a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) off the NSW coast, Australia
The NSW department of Primary Industries is responsible for the deployment, maintenance, and monitoring of a series of 15 fish aggregating devices (FADs) off the coast of New South Wales (NSW) Australia. The program is designed to provide alternative fishing opportunities for recreational anglers. The objectives of this study were to: (A) examine the relationship among environmental variables [sea surface temperature (SST) and current speed], fish abundance, and angler catch rates (CPUE) around a FAD, and (B) collect baseline data on the number of FAD-associated species and their relative abundance around a FAD located off Sydney, Australia. Thirteen species of finfish, dominated by the family Carangidae, were recorded from November 2003 to May 2004. The number of species associated with the FAD and their relative abundance varied over time. Dolphinfish, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus, 1758, and yellowtail kingfish, Seriola lalandi Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1833, dominated census estimates. Angling experiments captured only dolphinfish, although census results documented seven species of angling importance around the FAD. Angler catch rates (CPUE) were found to be an unsuitable measure of abundance, with no significant relationship between relative abundance of dolphinfish and catch. However, angler catch rates were significantly related to SST. Dolphinfish are likely to be the dominant species captured, forming the basis of this FAD fishery off the NSW coast.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 2006
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