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Catchment-derived stressors, recruitment, and fisheries productivity in an exploited penaeid shrimp

Taylor, M.D. and Loneragan, N.R. (2019) Catchment-derived stressors, recruitment, and fisheries productivity in an exploited penaeid shrimp. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 29 . art. no. 100628.

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Many factors can affect growth, survival, reproduction, and fisheries productivity of estuarine species, including structural and physico-chemical habitats, and freshwater inflow to estuaries. Land-based activities can lead to poor catchment condition, and catchment-derived stressors can adversely impact estuarine systems. Using the Eastern School Prawn (Metapenaeus macleayi) in a south-eastern Australian estuary (Camden Haven Estuary) as a case study, we examine juvenile recruitment and fisheries productivity alongside a comprehensive suite of catchment-derived stressors, and interpret patterns in the context of existing studies of lethal and sub-lethal impacts of these stressors on penaeid prawns. Logged dissolved oxygen data indicated a moderate frequency of hypoxia throughout the system, with occasional periods of anoxia. Dissolved aluminium concentrations remained above the relevant marine water quality guideline for the majority of the study period, and concentrations tended to correlate with estuarine inflow. Hypoxia led to depressed prawn abundance, and both hypoxia and high estuary inflow led to decreased somatic condition in prawns. Long-term commercial catch negatively correlated with estuary inflow, which was the opposite of the expected pattern for the species. These patterns highlight the potential cumulative impacts of a complex array of catchment-derived stressors on an important exploited penaeid species. Similar patterns probably occur for prawn species across other floodplain estuaries across south-eastern Australia, and suggest a hitherto unquantified economic impact of degraded catchments through losses in fisheries productivity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Harry Butler Institute
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.
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