Spatial abundance patterns and recruitment of a virus-affected commercial mollusc fishery

Jalali, M.A., Ierodiaconou, D., Gorfine, H., Christiansen, F. and Young, M. 2015, Spatial abundance patterns and recruitment of a virus-affected commercial mollusc fishery, Fisheries management and ecology, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 472-487.

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Title Spatial abundance patterns and recruitment of a virus-affected commercial mollusc fishery
Author(s) Jalali, M.A.
Ierodiaconou, D.ORCID iD for Ierodiaconou, D.
Gorfine, H.
Christiansen, F.
Young, M.ORCID iD for Young, M.
Journal name Fisheries management and ecology
Volume number 22
Issue number 6
Start page 472
End page 487
Total pages 16
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Weinheim, Germany
Publication date 2015-01-01
ISSN 0969-997X
Keyword(s) abundance patterns
commercial mollusc
disease pathogens
habitat variables
LiDAR bathymetry
stock recruitment
Summary  Infectious pathogens figure prominently among those factors threatening marine wildlife. Mass mortality events caused by pathogens can fundamentally alter the structure of wild fish stocks and depress recruitment rates and yield. In the most severe instances, this can precipitate stock collapses resulting in dramatic economic losses to once valuable commercial fisheries. An outbreak of a herpes-like virus among commercially fished abalone populations in the south-west fishery of Victoria, Australia, during 2006-2007, has been associated with high mortality rates among all cohorts. Long-term records from fishery-independent surveys of blacklip abalone Haliotis rubra (Leach) enabled abundance from pre- and post-viral periods to be analysed to estimate stock density and biomass. The spatial distribution of abundance in relation to physical habitat variables derived from high-resolution bathymetric LiDAR data was investigated. Significant differences were observed in both measures between pre- and post-viral periods. Although there was some limited evidence of gradual stock improvement in recent years, disease-affected reefs have remained below productivity rates prior to the disease outbreak suggesting a reduction in larval availability or settlement success. This was corroborated by trends in sublegal sized blacklip abalone abundance that has yet to show substantial recovery post-disease. Abundance data were modelled as a function of habitat variables using a generalised additive model (GAM) and indicated that high abundance was associated with complex reef structures of coastal waters (<15 m). This study highlights the importance of long-term surveys to understand abalone recovery following mass mortality and the links between stock abundance and seafloor variability.
Language eng
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
070403 Fisheries Management
0602 Ecology
0704 Fisheries Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
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