Blue Warehou Catch, Effort and CPUE

Catch, Effort and CPUE

In Tasmania, Blue Warehou are primarily taken using gillnet gear. A variety of methods are used by Commonwealth fisheries, including other gillnet categories (e.g., shark gillnets), Danish seine, and trawl.

Due to the low availability of Blue Warehou since the early 2000s, the species has been rarely targeted. Catch has mostly remained below 10 t since 2010/11. Peak Tasmanian landings were 317.6 t in 1991/92, which corresponded with the peak of Australia-wide landings of almost 3,000 t (AFMA 2014). Commonwealth commercial landings have also been down in recent years (Patterson et al. 2021).

Two stocks of Blue Warehou are believed to occur in southern Australian waters, the east and the west Bass Strait stocks (Bruce et al. 2001), which has led to the species being managed by AFMA as two stocks. The Tasmanian fishery is now mainly centred off the southeast coast, and thus probably targets the eastern stock. Historically, catches have also been taken off the north and northwest coasts, which are presumably harvested from the western stock.

In Tasmania, Blue Warehou are also targeted by recreational fishers using gillnets, and to a lesser extent, line fishing. Historically, recreational catches have been lower than commercial catches. However, in 2012/13, the recreational catch of Blue Warehou was almost double the commercial catch (Lyle et al. 2014b). In 2017/18, recreational catch declined again, representing approximately 6% of total catch (Lyle et al. 2019).

Following an increase in commercial gillnet effort and CPUE on the southeast and east coasts between 1995/96 and 1998/99 that resulted in an increase in landings, effort has fallen to substantially lower levels ever since. This situation is influenced by the limited availability of Blue Warehou in Tasmanian waters.

The full 2021/22 Scalefish Assessment, released March 2024, can be found at the link:

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