Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Post-release survival of two elasmobranchs, the eastern shovelnose ray (Aptychotrema rostrata) and the common stingaree (Trygonoptera testacea), discarded from a prawn trawl fishery in southern Queensland, Australia

Matthew J. Campbell A B C , Mark F. McLennan A , Anthony J. Courtney A and Colin A. Simpfendorfer B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Agri-Science Queensland, Ecosciences Precinct, GPO Box 267, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.

B Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: matthew.campbell@daf.qld.gov.au

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF17161
Submitted: 1 June 2017  Accepted: 3 November 2017   Published online: 16 January 2018

Abstract

Post-trawl survival (PTS) is an important metric used in determining the ecological risk posed by prawn (shrimp) trawling on discarded elasmobranchs. Despite this, PTS of elasmobranchs is poorly understood. The present study quantified the PTS of two small batoids caught incidentally by prawn trawlers in southern Queensland, Australia, namely the common stingaree (Trygonoptera testacea) and the eastern shovelnose ray (Aptychotrema rostrata). Field studies using on-board tanks revealed that A. rostrata were more resilient to trawl capture and release than T. testacea. For both species, survival was found to increase with size, whereas increasing time on deck resulted in lower survival. Female T. testacea were found to be more resilient than males, and increased tow duration resulted in lower survival for A. rostrata. The mean (±s.e.m.) PTS for female and male T. testacea was 33.5 ± 6.0 and 17.3 ± 5.5% respectively, compared with a mean PTS for A. rostrata of 86.8 ± 3.2%. The survival estimates derived in the present study provide an insight into the effects of trawling on these species and will improve their ecological risk assessment and management.


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