The inshore trawl fishery is comprised of 54 licences holders who exclusively trawl various net types to target both demersal and non-pelagic finfish. Larger vessels are used with winches on board that hold the ropes and netting used to troll and catch the fish.
Trawl vessels range in length from 9 to 20 metres and are powered by in-board diesel engines. Crew members sort the catch into species and move the catch into below deck storage holds. The storage holds are refrigerated to keep the catch cold; ice is also used. Some vessels use refrigerated seawater tanks to place the catch into.
Where is the Inshore Trawl fishery?
The Eastern part of the state is well-known for its trawling fishery. Many fishers operate from Lakes Entrance and target the waters out from this port.
Whats the catch?
The Inshore Trawl fishery is a multi-species fishery
Inshore Trawl Fishing methods
Trawling is an active fishing method. It involves towing a net along the seabed and herding fish into the net where they are held. Trawling is also called stern trawling, otter trawling, bottom or demersal trawling. Trawling is one of the more widely used fishing methods in Australia. Trawling is a common method of fishing all over the world. Trawling is not the most environmentally friendly methods of fishing as it can damage the seafloor and often there are high amounts of by-catch. While using bigger mesh sizes can reduce by-catch, unwanted species will almost always be caught.
How is the inshore Trawl fishery managed?
48 Current licences
A combined total of 2 Gummy and school shark
Some inshore trawl licences can have a bug endorsement.
No more than 200kg of Flathead, Trevally or School Whiting – Total combined weight cannot exceed 400kg.
Fish cannot be transferred from the boat specified in the licence to any other boat.
The Eastern School Prawn’s ‘undefined’ classification is due to the high variability in catch weights over the last decade. While catches have been increasing since 2008, reaching peak in 2015 at 76t it is matched by more effort. This could either mean climate change is driving more prawns South into the Victorian fishing zone or that economic benefits of prawns are better than previously so fishers are inclined to target the ESP. Therefore, the data is not hard evidence to determine the stock’s status – possible in the near future the data set will provide more information about the fishery.
The various other species listed as sustainable have been fished for many years so data is solid. CPUE, catch weights, biomass calculations and relative pup production (for gummy sharks) are all used to determine fish stock strengths.