School prawn

Image from Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks 2014

Distribution

School prawns are found in estuarine and inshore waters of eastern Australia from Tin Can Bay in Queensland to Corner Inlet in Victoria. They are generally found as juveniles and sub-adults in estuaries and as adults in inshore waters. Within estuaries they prefer soft muddy substrates and areas of sea grass and can be found well upstream in brackish to fresh waters.

Stock structure

Little is known about the biological stock structure of school prawns in Victoria, but it is assumed that they are part of a broader stock extending up with east coast of Australia.

The national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks report 2014 assessed the status of school prawns at the Victorian state scale.  

Annual catch

Sector

Estimated Victorian catch

Commercial (2015/16 fishing year)

111 tonnes

Recreational (statewide estimate from 2000/01 national survey)

 ≈ 0.7 tonnes
(69,721 prawns of average weight 10 grams)

Indigenous (i.e. 2015/16 customary fishing permits

0 tonnes

Estimated total

≈ 112 tonnes

Stock status

The table below summarises and explains the status and management of school prawns based on: 

  1. Stock status: classification of the biological status of school prawns in Victoria as at 2013, taken from the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) report 2014.
    Read more about the SAFS assessment approach and classification system.
  2. Management settings: overview of current management arrangements in Victorian waters, including any recent changes that may affect stock status.
  3. Risk management category: The Victorian Fisheries Authority's overall, qualitative assessment of current risk to stock status in Victorian waters taking into account management arrangements, based on the best information currently available:

    Red Red - current management measures may not be sufficient to prevent stock depletion
    Amber Amber - current management measures expected to mitigate risk of stock depletion
    Green Green - stock status not of concern under current management

The stock status classification, management settings and risk management category for school prawns are all at the scale of Victorian waters. Stock status is based only on sustainability. Management settings and risk management category also consider the steps taken to address stock status. 

Management settings are also influenced by social and economic factors, and can take some time to affect a stock's status. This can depend on biological and environmental factors as well as the type and level of management changes implemented.

Stock status (2013 data)

Key management settings

Risk management category

Classification:

undefined

Commercial harvest is predominantly managed by limited entry licensing and restrictions on gear, while recreational fishers are subject to gear and bag limits

Read more about the fishing methods and rules for school prawns in Victoria.

Green

Evidence:

Collectively, the following data provide evidence that this stock  is undefined: 

While stock status assessment is constrained by data availability, FV is not aware of information that indicates stock status concerns.

Basis for stock status classification (from SAFS 2014)

Biomass assessment

Based on this evidence, SAFS 2014 concluded that there was insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock

Fishing pressure assessment

Based on this evidence, SAFS 2014 concluded that there was insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock

Read more here about the assessment of school prawn stock status as at 2013 in the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) report 2014.