Southern Garfish Catch, Effort and CPUE

Catch, Effort and CPUE

After many years of relative stability in Southern Garfish catches of 80-90 t per fishing year, catches fell sharply in 2006/07 and 2007/08. Catches appeared to recover to around 60 t in 2008/09 before a declining trend commenced.

The northeast coast has historically been the region with the highest catch of Southern Garfish, as well as the highest beach seine effort. Dip net effort and catch were highest in the east and southeast coast regions in the earlier years of the fishery, shifting to the northeast coast in the mid-2000s.

Recreational Southern Garfish catches are low compared with commercial catches, estimated at ≤ 2 t in all surveys (Lyle 2005; Lyle et al. 2009; Lyle et al. 2014b; Lyle et al. 2019). Thus, the recreational fishery does not contribute significantly to total catches of this species.

Effort for both major gear types, beach seine and dip net, has been declining steadily and substantially over time. CPUE has fluctuated substantially over time and is unlikely to provide for a robust reflection of abundance or biomass given that Southern Garfish is a schooling species. However, notable trends are evident by a peak for both gear types in 2012/13 followed by a steep decline until 2017/18, which substantiated concerns about Southern Garfish stocks.

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

Latest Scalefish Assessment