The Tasmanian abalone fishery is a hand-harvested dive fishery, operating along the coastline of mainland Tasmania and offshore islands.
Due to the high spatial structure of this fishery, fine-scale data on fishing activity is critical for assessing fishery performance, understanding changes in utilisation of productive reefs, and shifts in the way the fleet operates in response to management action.
Image, above right: New generation GPS, Depth and Catch dataloggers developed by SciElex
Data obtained are used as spatial indicators of fishery performance to capture changes in fishing strategy as indicators of change in stock levels.
Electronic data on location and depth are collected using state of the art technology data loggers, fitted with 4G modems for data transfer and a light-weight-mesh for communications between depth, position and catch logging devices.
Image, above: Dive polygons created from Bi-variate Kernel Density Distributions of raw latitude/longitude data.
The Next Generation GPS and Depth data loggers developed for the abalone fishery are now being applied to the Longspined Sea Urchin (Centrostrephanus rodgersii) fishery.
In May 2020, the loggers were used by an industry-driven project where urchin fishers conducted an experimental fishdown of the Longspined Sea Urchin on the Tasman Peninsula, Eastern Tasmania.
The IMAS team captured and mapped 237 dives covering 82.49 Hectares, over an 13 day period. One key question was whether the reef targeted by the urchin fishdown was near known commercial abalone. Spatial analyses were conducted to examine the extent of overlap between the two fisheries.
Of the 82.5 Hectares fished by the urchin divers, 66.9 (81.1%) directly overlapped with known abalone habitat (see map below).
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