Nineteenth century narratives reveal historic catch rates for Australian snapper (Pagrus auratus)

Thurstan, Ruth H., Campbell, Alexander B. and Pandolfi, John M. (2014) Nineteenth century narratives reveal historic catch rates for Australian snapper (Pagrus auratus). Fish and Fisheries, 17 1: 210-225. doi:10.1111/faf.12103


Author Thurstan, Ruth H.
Campbell, Alexander B.
Pandolfi, John M.
Title Nineteenth century narratives reveal historic catch rates for Australian snapper (Pagrus auratus)
Formatted title
Nineteenth century narratives reveal historic catch rates for Australian snapper (Pagrus auratus)
Journal name Fish and Fisheries   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1467-2979
1467-2960
Publication date 2014-10-24
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/faf.12103
Open Access Status
Volume 17
Issue 1
Start page 210
End page 225
Total pages 16
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Snapper (Pagrus auratus) is widely distributed throughout subtropical and temperate southern oceans and forms a significant recreational and commercial fishery in Queensland, Australia. Using data from government reports, media sources, popular publications and a government fisheries survey carried out in 1910, we compiled information on individual snapper fishing trips that took place prior to the commencement of fisherywide organized data collection, from 1871 to 1939. In addition to extracting all available quantitative data, we translated qualitative information into bounded estimates and used multiple imputation to handle missing values, forming 287 records for which catch rate (snapper fisher−1 h−1) could be derived. Uncertainty was handled through a parametric maximum likelihood framework (a transformed trivariate Gaussian), which facilitated statistical comparisons between data sources. No statistically significant differences in catch rates were found among media sources and the government fisheries survey. Catch rates remained stable throughout the time series, averaging 3.75 snapper fisher−1 h−1 (95% confidence interval, 3.42–4.09) as the fishery expanded into new grounds. In comparison, a contemporary (1993–2002) south-east Queensland charter fishery produced an average catch rate of 0.4 snapper fisher−1 h−1 (95% confidence interval, 0.31–0.58). These data illustrate the productivity of a fishery during its earliest years of development and represent the earliest catch rate data globally for this species. By adopting a formalized approach to address issues common to many historical records – missing data, a lack of quantitative information and reporting bias – our analysis demonstrates the potential for historical narratives to contribute to contemporary fisheries management.
Keyword Catch per unit effort
Historical ecology
Multiple imputation
Narrative accounts
Qualitative data
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 24 October 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 30 Mar 2015, 11:30:26 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences