SARDI scientists have completed this summer’s snapper egg survey in both Spencer Gulf and Gulf St. Vincent!

This survey also involved working with commercial fishers to collect adult Snapper throughout the gulfs, the West Coast and South East to obtain important biological information.

SARDI scientists are currently processing the samples and verifying the snapper eggs using a technique which turn the eggs blue, differentiating them from other fish eggs. The number of eggs within each gulf combined with the biological information collected from the adults (i.e. age, sex, reproductive status) will be used to estimate Snapper biomass.

The laboratory sorting, Snapper egg verification, adult biological processing, and data analysis is labour intensive, with the results expected by the end of the year.

It is expected that the results of this stock assessment will be presented to the Marine Scalefish Fishery Management Advisory Committee (MAC), which has representatives from the commercial sector, charter sector and recreational sector on it, as well as scientists and fisheries managers. The recreational sector representatives are appointed by the Minister’s Recreational Fishing Advisory Council.

If the results show improvement in the biomass of Snapper, it will be up to each of these representatives to talk to their respective sectors about how catch will be managed to safely reopen without overfishing. All views will then be considered through the MAC. It is an exciting time and fingers-crossed for positive results.

Hon David Basham MP

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development