Variation in top-down and bottom-up control of marine bivalves at differing spatial scales

SD Frusher
JM Hoenig

Abstract

Fishing and natural mortality rates and tag reporting rate for rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) in northwest Tasmania, Australia, were estimated using multiyear tagging models. These estimates are necessary for assessment of the resource. Several models were examined that had either two or three tagging events each year, and either combined sexes or kept sexes separate. The model that best described the dynamics of the fishery utilized three tagging events within a year. The year was divided into discrete periods and, within each year, fishing effort and duration of period were used to apportion fishing and natural mortalities, respectively, to the periods. The separation of fishing mortalities by sex was not found to improve the models. Although high (1.0-1.2.year(-1)), the instantaneous fishing mortality estimates were comparable to estimates obtained from other methods and the relative standard errors were low. Reporting rate estimates were also precise and indicated a lack of participation by the fishing industry. Estimates of natural mortality were low (0.00-0.02.year(-1)) but imprecise.