A catch of fish reveals a prized species heading south

Credit: Dr. Benjamin Mos

A fishing expedition to the NSW Mid North Coast has landed an unexpected catch for a marine researcher from Southern Cross University.

When brothers Benjamin and Daniel Mos went fishing in the summer, the couple didn’t expect their catch to be anything other than a photo opportunity or dinner. Instead, the fish they caught and released, commonly called the striped spear, urged them to write a scientific paper now published in Magazine for Fish Biology

According to Dr. Benjamin Moss, a marine biologist Located in Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Center, it was rare to find the striped spear in New South Wales waters.

“While this types is probably well known to fishermen in Queensland, it’s not something we typically find here. We had to go through a few fishing books and websites to identify our specimens,” said Dr. Mos.

“Our late 2021 and early 2022 catches are the southernmost records for the striped spear reported to date. And there could be more in the area.

“At the end of May 2022 we saw messages on social media about a striped spear caught from Deep Creek, just north of the Nambucca River where we found our specimens.”

The species has previously been observed in the Richmond River and Clarence River systems on the north coast of NSW, which are approximately 200 miles north of the Nambucca River, where the newest specimens were discovered.

It is not known whether the beam spear’s arrival so far south in NSW is due to changing ocean conditions.

“It is possible that the sightings so far south are a one-off event. However, our observations fit a broader pattern occurring in the waters of southeastern Australia, suggesting a role for climate change,” said Dr. Moss.

“In our region, dozens of tropical species are moving south, where oceans and estuaries are also warming faster than the global average.”

According to Atlas of Living Australia data, the barred spear has not been collected in NSW for over 50 years.

The barred spear’s southernmost stronghold is Moreton Bay in Queensland, near Brisbane, where the species supports economically important recreational and commercial fisheries.

The species is a popular sport fish and is said to eat well. The striped spear grows to about 80 cm in length and is found in estuaries and offshore up to about 75 m in depth.

dr. Moss said the newcomer has no particular environmental concern at this time. The relative rarity of the barred spear in NSW and the generalist diet means it is unlikely to outshine the competition local species

In the Mediterranean, tropical fish that migrate to subtropical or temperate areas pose a threat to biodiversity, Public health, and fishing. Two examples include herbivorous rabbit fish that chew on kelp forestsand venomous silver-cheeked toads that foul fishermen’s nets and steal their catch.

In contrast, the barred spear may be welcomed by recreational and commercial fishermen of NSW.

“It’s important that we understand where this species occurs, and in what numbers,” said Dr. Moss.

“As larger numbers make their way to NSW in the coming decades, the striped spear could become a more common catch. It may then be necessary to see if specific size or catch restrictions are needed to ensure that more anglers have the opportunity to catch this one. to catch fish.”

Because the banded spear has been rarely caught in northern NSW, there are currently no specific catch or size restrictions for this species in NSW. A maximum daily bag limit of 20 applies to all fish in NSW that do not have specific bag and size limits. In Queensland waters there is a minimum height of 40cm and a baggage limit of 10.

Fishermen, divers and the general public can help scientists track the movement of fish and others maritime organisms to new locations by reporting unusual sightings to RedMap Australia at www.redmap.org.au


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More information:
Benjamin Mos et al, Range extension of a widespread Indo-Pacific haemulid, the banded spear Pomadasys jawan (Cuvier, 1830), in a climate change hot spot, Magazine for Fish Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1111/jfb.15125

Provided by Southern Cross University

Quote: A fishing catch reveals a prized species moving south (June 2022, June 21) recovered June 21, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-fishy-capture-reveals-prized-species.html

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