Oral Presentation Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2017

Quantifying shark depredation encounters while commercial, charter and recreational fishing in Western Australia (#25)

Gary Jackson 1 , Karina L Ryan 1 , Stephen M Taylor 1 , Rory McAuley 1 , Brett Molony 1
  1. Department of Fisheries, WA Fisheries & Marine Research Laboratories, Hillarys, WA, Australia

Shark encounters while fishing in marine waters in Western Australia are perceived to be increasing by some commercial fishers, charter tour operators and private boat-based recreational fishers. Lack of quantitative information remains a significant obstacle in determining the nature and magnitude of these encounters. A probability-based phone survey was designed to assess fisher attitudes and the level of shark encounters by recall during the previous 12 month period (September 2015 to August 2016). Of the 906 fishers who participated in the survey, 52% indicated they had experienced a shark encounter during the previous 12 months. The level of concern regarding shark encounters varied among the main bioregions fished. Multiple logistic regressions were used to assess the impact of activity type, bioregion and season fished on the occurrence of shark encounters while fishing. Results indicated that activity type and bioregion fished were the most important predictors for estimating shark encounters. The likelihood of different types of shark encounters varied among activity type. For example, the likelihood of fish loss above the surface was highest for recreational fishers while pelagic fishing. The North Coast and Gascoyne Coast were generally most susceptible to most types of shark encounters.