Statistical Analysis Of Coastal And Oceanographic Influences On The Queensland Scallop Fishery

The saucer scallop (Ylistrum balloti) otter-trawl fishery used to be the most valuable commercially-fished species in Queensland ocean waters. Over the last few years, there has been growing concern among fishers, fishery managers and scientists over the decline in catch rates and annual harvest. A quantitative assessment conducted in 2016 showed that scallop abundance was at an historic low level. The assessment used data sourced from the fishery and independent surveys. Further information on coastal and oceanographic influences are available and may reveal new factors that influence population abundance of scallops and improve management of the fishery. In this study, scallop catch rate abundance data and coastal and physical oceanographic variables (e.g. sea surface temperature anomalies, coastal freshwater flow and Chlorophyll-a) were modelled to identify spatial and temporal environmental processes important for consideration in fishery management procedures.