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Helping freed fish survive

AUSTRALIA - NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries scientists have come up with new ways to boost the survival rates of several species of fish caught and then released by anglers.

Guidelines designed to improve fish survival were recently developed for released line-caught snapper, silver trevally, mulloway, sand whiting, yellowfin bream and dusky flathead. Research into additional species is underway.

The research, costing more than $1.5 million and funded by NSW DPI and the Recreational Fishing Trust (using money from licence fees), is developing protocols designed to maximise fish survival via subtle changes to management practices.

Owing to bag limits, legal sizes and non-consumptive angling, between 30 and 50% of the total recreational catch is released each year in Australia. This amounts to more than 47 million fish being caught and released annually.

New research is now seeking to maximise the post-release survival of other commonly-caught species including luderick, sand mullet, garfish, tailor, Australian bass, Murray cod and golden perch.

NSW DPI scientists Matt Broadhurst and Paul Butcher have shown that mortality rates can be significantly improved through changed practices.

Source: ScienceAlert

the Fish Site Editor

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