Using rapid assessment and demographic methods to evaluate the effects of fishing on Heterodontus portusjacksoni off far-eastern Victoria, Australia

Authors

  • J. Tovar-Ávila,

    Corresponding author
    1. Zoology Department, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia
    2. Primary Industries Research Victoria, P.O. Box 114, Queenscliff 3225, Victoria, Australia
    3. Instituto Nacional de Pesca, Pitágoras 1320, Sta. Cruz Atoyac, 03310 D.F., México
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  • R. W. Day,

    1. Zoology Department, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia
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  • T. I. Walker

    1. Zoology Department, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia
    2. Primary Industries Research Victoria, P.O. Box 114, Queenscliff 3225, Victoria, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed at present address: CRIP Bahía Banderas, A.P. 59 Bucerías, Nayarit 63732, México. Tel.: +52 (329) 2955630; email: javiertovar.mx@gmail.com

Abstract

A rapid semi-quantitative ecological risk assessment method (productivity and susceptibility analysis) indicated that, despite its low biological productivity, the Port Jackson shark Heterodontus portusjacksoni is at low risk to all fishing methods in far-eastern Victoria, Australia, under the present fishing practices, because of its low catch susceptibility. The risk to this population, however, would increase if the shark gillnet fishery operating in the region were to retain the species as a by-product. Demographic analysis indicated that the species has medium intrinsic population growth rate and potential rebound in comparison with other chondrichthyan species, juveniles have higher elasticity than mature females and both juvenile and mature females have higher elasticities than hatchlings. Because of its low biological productivity and moderate resilience to the effects of fishing, cautious management measures will be necessary to ensure the sustainable use of H. portusjacksoni if its marketing increases in the future. Information on the dynamics of a population that is valuable to provide management advice can be obtained through demographic methods, but rapid assessment methods can also provide complementary information on the effects of fishing by considering the catch susceptibility of the population to each fishing method.

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