Recreational fishery discard practices influence use of tidal estuary by a large marine mesopredator

Joni Pini-Fitzsimmons, Nathan A. Knott, Culum Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Context: It is common for recreational anglers to discard waste produced from filleting catches back into the water, which results in a highly spatio-temporally predictable food subsidy for wildlife to scavenge. However, the behavioural responses of these scavengers has received little attention.

Aims: We aimed to assess the visitation of a common mesopredatory scavenger in relation to temporal patterns in waste discarding at a boat ramp in south-eastern Australia.

Methods: Using passive acoustic telemetry, the movements of 13 adult female smooth stingrays (Bathytoshia brevicaudata) were tracked, and patterns in their acoustic detections and duration of time spent in different sections within the study area were compared.

Key results: Use of the study area was strongly focused around the boat ramp, and peaked during periods of increased provisioning activity (i.e. afternoons and weekends). Environmental variables had limited influence on visitation, suggesting that the use of the area was not likely to be linked to natural behaviours.

Conclusions: The observed patterns indicated that the movements of smooth stingrays were linked to waste-discard practices by recreational anglers.

Implications: This study has implications for the management of discard practices for recreational fishing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-334
Number of pages15
JournalMarine & Freshwater Research
Volume74
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Cite this