About the project


This project examined some techniques that worked directly on fish (genetics and otolith chemistry data) to ascertain the spatial relationships (i.e. “stock structure”) of the exploited species dhufish, pink snapper and baldchin groper in the West Coast Bioregion.

In addition, deployment of satellite-tracked drifters to improve our understanding of coastal currents and oceanographic models that employ this knowledge to predict drift patterns of fish eggs and larvae were utilised to help better understand the spatial links between fish populations in the different management zones of the West Coast Bioregion.

This project also examined different types of bycatch risk assessment and the potential for on-board cameras to improve cost- effectiveness of monitoring of bycatch in some commercial fisheries.

Finally, methods to estimate recreational catch were examined at an international workshop of experts to help guide future surveys.


  • To determine if temperate State fisheries impose a high risk to sustainability of TEPS and other bycatch species
  • To establish the stock structure and connectedness of populations of indicator species (Western Australian Dhufish, Pink Snapper, Baldchin groper) of the West Coast Demersal Scalefish Fishery
  • To determine how cost-effective estimates of catch and effort by non-commercial sectors (recreational) be generated to allow robust monitoring of the non-commercial sector

Research Articles

Berry, O., England, P., Fairclough, D., Jackson, G. and Greenwood, J. (2012) Microsatellite DNA analysis and hydrodynamic modelling reveal the extent of larval transport and gene flow between management zones in an exploited marine fish (Glaucosoma hebraicum). Fisheries Oceanography, 21 (4). pp. 243-254.

Burridge CP, England PR (2009) Tri‐ and tetranucleotide microsatellites in dhufish Glaucosoma hebracium (Perciformes). Molecular Ecology Resources

Evans, R. and Molony, B. W. 2010. Ranked Risk Assessment for Bycatch in Multiple Fisheries: a Bioregional Risk Assessment Method. Fisheries Research Report No. 212. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia. 88pp.

Evans, R. and Molony, B. W. 2011. Pilot evaluation of the efficacy of electronic monitoring on a demersal gillnet vessel as an alternative to human observers. Fisheries Research Report No. 221. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia. 16 pp.

Fairclough, D. V., Lenanton, R. C. J and Jackson, G. 2011. Rapid and cost-effective assessment of connectivity among assemblages of baldchin groper Choerodon rubescens(Labridae), using laser ablation ICP-MS analysis of sagittal otoliths. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 403:46– 53.

Fairclough, D.V., Edmonds, J.S., Jackson, G., Lenanton, R.C.J., Kemp, J., Molony, B.W., Keay, I.S., Crisafulli, B.M. and Wakefield, C.B. (2013) A comparison of the stock structures of two exploited demersal teleosts, employing complementary methods of otolith element analysis. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 439 . pp. 181-195.

Gardner, M.J., Chaplin, J.A. & Shaw, K.M. Development and characterisation of novel microsatellite loci for the baldchin groper (Choerodon rubescens) and cross-amplification in seven other labrid species. Conservation Genet Resour 3, 461–466 (2011).

Little, L.R. , Berry, O, Molony, B, A management simulation model for dhufish in the west coast demersal scalefish fishery : a report for project 4.4.3-3 Western Australian Marine Science Institution. (2012).

Wise, B.S. and Fletcher, W.J. Determination of cost effective techniques to monitor recreational catch and effort in Western Australian demersal finfish fisheries. Final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation for Project – 2005/034. Fisheries Research Report No. 245, 2013


Program: WAMSI 2006-2011

Completed: December 2011

Location: West Coast Bioregion

Project Leader: Brett Molony


Final Report