Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 391–402 | Cite as

Distribution of sawfishes (Pristidae) in the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, with notes on sawfish ecology

Article

Synopsis

Pristis microdon, P. zijsron, P. clavata and Anoxypristis cuspidata are distributed throughout the Queensland section of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. In a survey of the four species, Anoxypristis cuspidata was the most abundant and was recorded in both the inshore and offshore set net fisheries. The size distribution and catch locations of A. cuspidata suggest that the inshore area to a depth of 10 m may be the preferred habitat for juveniles of this species, while adults primarily occur offshore. Pristis microdon, P. zijsron and P. clavata were recorded only in the inshore fishery with catches dominated by immature animals. Pristis microdon was caught in the inshore fishery late in the monsoonal wet season (February to April) and inhabited both freshwater and estuarine environments. Pristis zijsron occurred only on the sand and mud flats outside river mouths whilst P. clavata inhabited both the sand and mud flats and upstream estuarine habitats. Observations on reproductive staging and the capture of neonate specimens suggest that in all four pristids, pupping occurred through the wet season until the beginning of the dry season in May. A seasonal set net closure for the barramundi, Lates calcarifer and shark fisheries, which has been in place since 1980 in Queensland Gulf waters, therefore offers a measure of protection to breeding female sawfish and their offspring.

Key words

gill netting Pristis microdon Pristis zijsron Pristis clavata Anoxypristis cuspidata 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bigelow, H.B., Schroeder, W.C. 1953Sawfishes, guitarfishes, skates and rays Fisheries of the Western North AtlanticMemoir Sears Mem. Found. Mar. Res.11514Google Scholar
  2. Camhi, M., S. Fowler, J. Musick, A. Brautigam & S. Fordham. 1998. Sharks and their relatives. Ecology and Conservation. Occassional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 20. 000 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Cavanagh, R.D., P.M. Kyne, S.L. Fowler, J.A. Musick & M.B. Bennett (eds). 2003. The Conservation Status of Australasian Chondrichthans. Report of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group Australia and Oceania Regional Red List Workshop March 2003. The University of Queensland, School of Biomedical Sciences, Brisbane, Australia. 170 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Compagno, L.J.V. & P.R. Last. 1999. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). pp. 1411–1417. In: K.E. Carpenter & V.H. Niem (eds), FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. Vol. 3, RomeGoogle Scholar
  5. Compagno, L.J.V., Cook, S.F. 1995The exploitation and conservation of freshwater elasmobranchs: status of taxa and prospects for the futureJ. Aquaricult. Aqua. Sci.76290Google Scholar
  6. Cook, S., L. Compagno & M. Oetinger. 1995. Status of the largetooth sawfish Pristis perotteti Muller and Henle, 1841. Shark News. Newsletter of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group 4: 5 ppGoogle Scholar
  7. Gloerfelt-Tarp, T., Kailola, P.J. 1984Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and North-Western AustraliaAustralian Development Assistance Bureau, Directorate General of Fisheries, Indonesia and German Agency for Technical CooperationJakarta406Google Scholar
  8. Garrett, R.N. 1987. Reproduction in Queensland Barramundi (Lates calcarifer). pp. 38–43. In: J.W. Copland and D.L. Grey (eds), Management of Wild and Cultured Sea Bass/Barramundi (Lates calcarifer). Australian Centre of International Agricultural Research ACIAR Proceedings, No. 20Google Scholar
  9. Gribble, N.A. (ed.) 2004. Tropical Resource Assessment Program: FRDC Report 1999/125. Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, information series QI04072. ISSN 0727 – 6273. (CD) 186 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Hamlett, W.C. (ed.) 1999. Sharks, Skates, and Rays. The Biology of Elasmobranch Fishes. The John Hopkins University Press. 000 ppGoogle Scholar
  11. Last, P.R., Stevens, J.D. 1994Sharks and Rays of AustraliaCSIRO Division of FisheriesMelbourne600Google Scholar
  12. Nelson, J.S. 1994Fishes of the worldthirdJohn Wiley and SonsNew York000Google Scholar
  13. Pogonoski, J. 2002Rare and endangered green sawfishspring editionNature Australia28Google Scholar
  14. QFMA. 1999. Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Finfish Fishery Management Plan. Queensland Fisheries Management Authority, ISSN 07242 7012 4, 81 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Ryan, T.J., G. Aland & A.L. Cogle. 2002. Environmental Condition of the Upper Mitchell River System – water quality and ecology. Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, QNRM 02017, ISBN 07345 2637 7, 103 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. Seitz, C., Poulakis, G.R. 2002Recent occurrence of sawfishes (Elasmobranchiomorphi: Pristidae) along the southwest coast of Florida (USA)Florida Sci.65256266Google Scholar
  17. Simpfendorfer, C.A. 2000Predicting population recovery rates for endangered western Atlantic sawfishes using demographic analysisEnviron. Biol. Fishes58371377Google Scholar
  18. Simpfendorfer, C.A. 2002Smalltooth Sawfish: The USA’s First Endangered Elasmobranch?Mar. Mat. Vol.194549Google Scholar
  19. Stevens, J.D., McLoughlin, K.J. 1991Distribution, size and sex composition, reproductive biology and diet of sharks from Northern AustraliaAust. J. Mar. Freshwater Res.42151199Google Scholar
  20. Stevens, J.D., Bonfil, N.K., Dulvy, , Walker, P.A. 2000The effects of fishing on sharks, rays and chimaeras (chondrichthyans), and the implications for marine ecosystemsICES J. Mar. Sci.57476494Google Scholar
  21. Stobutzki, I.C., Miller, J.M., Heales, D.S., Brewer, D.T. 2002Sustainability of elasmobranchs caught as bycatch in a tropical prawn (shrimp) trawl fisheryFish. Bull.100800821Google Scholar
  22. Tanaka, S. 1991Age estimation of freshwater sawfish and sharks in northern Australia and Papua New GuineaUniversity Museum, University of Tokyo, Nature and Culture37182Google Scholar
  23. Taniuchi, T., Shimizu, M. 1991Elasmobranchs collected from seven river systems in northern Australia and Papua New GuineaNat. Cult.3310Google Scholar
  24. Thorburn, D.C., Peverell, S.C., Stevens, J.D., Last, P.R., Rowland, A.J. 2003Status of Freshwater and Estuarine Elasmobranchs in Northern AustraliaAustralian Department of Environment and HeritageCanberra000Google Scholar
  25. Thorson, T.B. 1976

    Observations on the reproduction of the sawfish, Pristis perotteti, Lake Nicaragua, with recommendations for its conservation

    Thorson, T.B. eds. Investigations of the ichthyofauna of Nicaraguan Lakes, School of Life SciencesUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincoln, Nebraska2326
    Google Scholar
  26. Thorson, T.B. 1982aLife history implications of a tagging study of the largetooth sawfish, Pristis perotteti, in the lake Nicaragua-Rio San Juan SystemEnviron. Biol. Fishes7207228Google Scholar
  27. Thorson, T.B. 1982bThe impact of commercial exploitation on sawfish and shark populations in Lake NicaraguaFisheries7210Google Scholar
  28. Walker, T.I. 1998Can shark resources be harvested sustainably. A question revisited with a review of shark fisheriesJ. Mar. Freshwater Res.49553572Google Scholar
  29. Zorzi, G.D. 1995The biology of freshwater elasmobranchs: an historical perspectiveJ. Aquacult. Aqua. Sci.71031Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Primary Industries & FisheriesSustainable Fisheries, Northern Fisheries CentreQueenslandAustralia

Personalised recommendations