Dhufish at risk from over-fishing

WA government scientists initiate study on juvenile fish

Dhufish at risk from over-fishing
Dhufish at risk from over-fishing
The WA government recently announced that research funded through its Natural Resource Management (NRM) strategy will help build vital knowledge about critical habitats for juvenile dhufish (glaucosoma hebraicum).

Dhufish are unique to Western Australia, but Department of Fisheries scientists say the popular species has been identified as seriously at risk from over-fishing.

Supervising scientist, Dr Brett Molony, said the new $225,000 project would identify critical habitats for this important, but slow-growing, species. The juvenile dhufish research project was part of more than $2.2 million in NRM grants for fisheries research.

"At present, stock status monitoring is largely focussed on adult dhufish, but little is known about juveniles between spawning and becoming vulnerable to fishing," Dr Molony said.

"This is one of the at-risk demersal species, which has prompted tighter management of both the recreational and commercial fishing sectors. The more we can learn about juvenile dhufish habitats, the better we can manage its sustainability," he said.

Dr Molony said one of the aims of this research project was to gather enough information to develop a recruitment index, so as to give government scientists more means of assessing the sustainability of dhufish in the West Coast Bioregion.

"[The] Dhufish is one of the main species that supports the commercial West Coast demersal scalefish fishery, valued at approximately five million dollars annually. This fishery also helps to create employment throughout the region and supplies local fish markets," he said


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