Pearl perch (Glaucosoma scapulare)
Exploitation status in 2011: Uncertain
Currently not enough historical commercial catch data (non-specific recording until 2004) and highly variable catch rates. Inconsistent signals in the age and length data, with a lack of post eight year old fish identified. Currently being assessed as part of an FRDC project on the fishery.
|Previous exploitation status (2010)||
Since quota was introduced in 2004 for reef fish species, the catch of pearl perch increased dramatically from <10 t to up to 97 t in 2005. The commercial catch in 2010 dropped back to around 32 t. Recreational catch reported in the statewide recreational fishing surveys increased from 50 t in 2002 to 123 t in 2005. Pearl perch attracts a beach price of around $6/kg.
Age information from the Long Term Monitoring Program was considered for the first time in 2011. Age frequencies were considered from 2007, 2008 and 2009 - and showed a lack of fish older than eight years old. The 2010 data is currently being completed and is hoped to provide a better understanding of the age of the east coast stocks.
|Future assessment needs||
The 2010 age structure information may assist in clarifying the current exploitation status. Up to date age information will also allow calculation of total mortality estimate in the PMS.
A three year FRDC funded project to address some of the knowledge gaps in the rocky reef fishery began in early 2009. The research is examining the important areas of juvenile habitat of rocky reef fish species in southern Queensland as well as assessing various harvest strategies for the fishery. Key growth, reproductive, and other fisheries parameters are being derived for pearl perch and teraglin.