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Quantifying northward movement rates of eastern king prawns along eastern Australia

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Movement rates of eastern king prawns, Melicertus plebejus (Hess), were estimated from historical and recent conventional tag-recapture information collected across eastern Australia. Data from three studies and 2,656 tag recaptures were used. Recaptured males and females both moved east–north-east in central Queensland and north–north-east in southern Queensland and New South Wales. Over a period of one year, the estimated transition matrix reflected the species strong northerly movement and the more complex longitudinal movement, showing a very high probability of eastern movement in central Queensland and almost negligible eastern or western movement in northern New South Wales. The high exchange probability between New South Wales and Queensland waters indicated that spatial assessment models with movement rates between state jurisdictions would improve the management of this single-unit stock.

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This research was supported by the Queensland and Australian Governments through the Australian Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC 2008/019). We thank the commercial trawl fishers in Queensland and New South Wales who provided the information on recaptured tagged prawns.

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Correspondence to Anthony J. Courtney.

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Communicated by D. Righton.

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Braccini, M., O’Neill, M.F., Courtney, A.J. et al. Quantifying northward movement rates of eastern king prawns along eastern Australia. Mar Biol 159, 2127–2136 (2012).

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