NESP 3.11 Multi-fishery collaboration to assess population abundances and post release survival of threatened sawfish in northern Australia

  • Pillans, Richard D (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)
  • Patterson, Toby A. (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)
  • Kyne, Peter M. (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)

Project: Research

Project Details


To improve sawfish reporting and obtain an estimate of sawfish abundance and stock structure, we propose a large-scale collaborative project between industry, State and Commonwealth agencies and lead research institutions to gather tissue samples from across northern Australia. The project will have a focus on developing trust between research and the commercial fishing industry that will achieve the following:

- Industry led reporting and sampling programs will be established throughout Australia’s
northern fisheries.
- Tissue samples will be used to assess sawfish abundance and stock structure using Close-Kin Mark-Recapture (CKMR).
- Estimates of post-release survival will be obtained from satellite tagging and improved reporting.
- Data on abundance and post release survival will be used to assess the sustainability of sawfish bycatch.

The research also aims to improve reporting of sawfish along with other EPBC listed species in northern Australian fisheries. If enough tissue samples are collected, close kin mark recapture will enable estimates of adult population size for four species of sawfish. Post release survival and abundance estimates will be used to determine the sustainability of sawfish captured as bycatch
in state, territory and Commonwealth Fisheries. Improved estimates of bycatch, population connectivity, adult abundance and post release survival were identified as the highest research priorities in the Sawfish and River Shark multispecies recovery plan.
Short titleNESP 3.11 Sawfish Project
Effective start/end date1/02/2330/06/26


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