Commercial Prawn Catches in the Torres Strait

P. Channells, R. Watson, P. J. Blyth, (1988). Australian Fisheries, 23-26.

Commercial prawning is a major industry in Torres Strait attracting the attention of more than 100 vessels in a combined total annual catch of about 1 000 tonnes. However, the present fishery is based on a highly mobile fleet and any change in this feature of the industry could have a dramatic effect. For this reason the Torres Strait prawn fishery needs to be looked at in conjunction with the northern prawn fishery and east coast fisheries as management practices in any one of the three areas is likely to have some effect in the other fisheries. This article presents an overall view of the Torres Strait fishery based on large-scale data collected on the fishery over the past nine years. The data shows the fishery as a whole is not being overfished but, the absence of detailed fishing information on specific areas and changes in the species composition of the catch suggest that, much more investigation remains to be carried out.