We explore the potential of using data from Australia's northern prawn fishery (NPF) vessel monitoring system(s) (VMS) to examine trawl track, trawling intensity, and stock depletion due to trawling. We simulate VMS data by subsampling global positioning system (GPS) fixes from the NPF fishing vessels at different polling intervals to examine their accuracy in describing trawl tracks. The results of the simulations suggest that VMS data with polling intervals longer than 30 min cannot accurately estimate trawl tracks. The analysis of high-polling-frequency VMS data collected in four (later reduced to three) 6 nautical mile x 6 nautical mile grids that historically received high levels of fishing effort showed that trawling was not random and some areas were trawled up to 28 times in the tiger prawn fishing season and the impact varied among years. The results of a catch-depletion analysis suggest that fishery catch-per-unit-effort and cumulative catch may not be proportional to overall target-species biomass in areas with highly aggregated trawl effort. The VMS data also showed a large number of trawls can occur in productive areas and that trawling impacts on benthos may be quite marked.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|State||Published - Mar 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science