The size at recruitment, temporal and spatial distribution, and abiotic factors influencing abundance of three commercially important species of penaeid prawns in the sublittoral trawl grounds of Moreton Bay (Queensland, Australia) were compared. Metapenaeus bennettae and Penaeus plebejus recruit to the trawl grounds at sizes which are relatively small (14-15 mm carapace length, CL) and below that at which prawns are selected for, and retained, in the fleet's cod-ends. In contrast, Penaeus esculentus recruit at the relatively large size of 27 mm CL from February to May, well above the size ranges selected for. Recruitment of M. bennettae extends over several months, September-October and February-March, and was thus likely to be bi-annual, while the recruitment period of P. plebejus was distinct, peaking in October-November each year. Size classes of M. bennettae were the most spatially stratified of the three species. Catch rates of recruits were negatively correlated with depth for all three species, and were also negatively correlated with salinity for M. bennettae.
- Moreton Bay
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
- Environmental Science(all)