Home' Ausmarine : November 2012 Contents Research underway on Western Australia's blue swimmer crabs
A new project seeking key biological information in Australia's
highest producing blue swimmer crab fishery has commenced,
with funding from the Fisheries Research and Development
Corporation (FRDC), Western Australia's (WA) fishing industry,
and the Western Australia State Department of Fisheries.
The crab fishery in Shark Bay has expanded significantly in
recent years and scientists are working on a three-year project to
build their understanding of the blue swimmer crab stocks and the
impacts of local environmental events like floods and heatwaves.
Principal Research Scientist (Invertebrates) for the Department of
Fisheries, Dr Mervi Kangas, said the $1.5 million project that began
in August would provide important scientific information to
underpin management of Shark Bay's crab stocks.
"The project will examine key drivers for local blue swimmer
crab recruitment, particularly determining what may have
generated the recent low recruitment," Dr Kangas said.
"This research, which will ultimately be published through
FRDC, is also expected to improve the understanding of the
socio-economic contribution of the fishery to the commercial trap
and trawl sectors, as well as to recreational fishers in the Shark
Dr Kangas said recent declines in the number of small crabs
recorded on fishing grounds and low catch rates of legal sized crabs
had highlighted the need to address the current knowledge gaps;
on the factors influencing recruitment, biology and stock status.
"It is important we look at all the factors and environmental
impacts in the Shark Bay crab fishery to provide information for the
management of this valuable resource," she said.
"Blue swimmer crab stocks throughout Shark Bay will be
sampled five times a year using the Department of Fisheries'
research vessel 'Naturaliste'."
The information collected on the crabs will include their size,
sex, maturity and breeding condition. The 'Naturaliste' will also
measure the environmental conditions in the Shark Bay region, as
well as collect information on the abundance and size of other
commercially and recreationally important species such as prawns,
snapper and scallops.
In the first year, sampling will be extensive; covering up to
55 sites to determine the distribution of blue swimmer crabs
across Shark Bay. The number and location of sampling sites for the
following years will depend on results from the first
Nautilus Insurance not linked to similarly named company placed in liquidation
The management of New South Wales-based marine vessel
insurance firm Nautilus Marine Insurance Agency has stated
that the company has "no association whatsoever" with
Nautilus Marine General Systems of Western Australia.
Nautilus Marine General Systems is a division of the WA-based
Columbus Group, which operates in the maritime engineering
sector. Nautilus Marine General Systems recently had a
court-appointed Liquidator installed.
"No-one wishes to see a company placed in liquidation," said
Lyndon Turner, CEO of Nautilus Marine Insurance Agency.
"Because there is some similarity between our trading names, we
want to re-assure the market that we at Nautilus Marine are in great
shape and that there is no link between the companies."
"We want to confirm that there is absolutely no connection
between us and Nautilus Marine General Systems. We operate in a
different corporate sector, there is no common shareholding and
no common staff at any level."
Since establishing the business over six years ago, Nautilus
Marine continues to impose itself as a "major force" in the
Australian and now New Zealand marine vessel insurance markets.
Nautilus Marine has over 30,000 policies, maintains a
comprehensive range of insurance products that support businesses
operating in the marine industry, and has dedicated offices in all
Insurance offered by Nautilus Marine is underwritten by certain
underwriters at Lloyd's.
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November 2012 AUSMARINE
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