2019/20 Assessment Summary
Both catch and effort data for Southern Garfish showed an overall declining trend in recent years. Catch rates have fluctuated substantially but do show a recently reversing trend back to higher levels. However, given the schooling nature of the species, catch rates are unlikely to be a reliable proxy of abundance. In agreement with fisher perceptions, data-limited stock assessment methods suggest that recovery of the population under current levels of catch is theoretically possible, but empirical evidence for recovery is lacking.
Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery
Catch, effort and CPUE trends; changes in size/age composition
Catches of the traditional winter beach seine fishery were centred off the northeast coast, including Flinders Island. More recently, the fishery has extended to the east and southeast coasts. Following the introduction of dip-nets, catches have also increasingly been taken over the summer months. Today, Garfish on the northeast coast are caught mostly by beach seine while on the southeast and east coasts they are caught mainly by dip-nets. A sharp and unexpected decline in catches in 2006/07 and 2007/08 initiated a size and age structure sampling program between 2008–2012 and again between 2017 and 2018 (Emery et al. 2015, Reid 2018).
The full 2019/20 Scalefish Assessment can be found at the link: