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The influence of sediment conditions on the decline of the western school prawn (Metapenaeus dalli) in a temperate Australian estuary

Bennett, A., Tweedley, J.R., Loneragan, N.R. and Poh, B. (2014) The influence of sediment conditions on the decline of the western school prawn (Metapenaeus dalli) in a temperate Australian estuary. In: The Fisheries Society of the British Isles Annual International Symposium, 7 - 11 July, Hull, UK.

Abstract

Abundances of the western school prawn (Metapenaeus dalli) in the Swan-Canning Estuary have declined markedly in the last fifty years. Together with the decrease in abundance, there is strong anecdotal evidence from recreational fishers that the spatial distribution of this penaeid has changed as this species no longer being caught in the middle and upper reaches of the estuary. This is a marked shift in distribution, as work conducted in the 1980s showed that individuals of this species moved upstream from the lower reaches of estuary once salinity in these upstream areas reached 30. While, declining rainfall has resulted in these waters being more saline, our data show that these reaches are not utilised to the same extent by individuals of M. dalli. The research presented in this poster investigates the hypothesis that changes in sediment composition may be responsible for this shift in the spatial and temporal use of the estuary by this species. The implications of this research on the restocking program for M. dalli are discussed.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Notes: Poster presentation
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/25625
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