Spawning and recruitment dynamics of Scylla serrata
Giant Mud Crabs (GMC; Scylla serrata) are an iconic, high value fisheries species in NSW, but catches are highly variable. Environmental variables such as water temperature and estuary inflow (which affects salinity) are known to be a driver of variability in crab catches, however, most studies focus on northern-Australia (i.e. QLD and NT) and have failed to define the influence of recruitment. This project seeks to identify the influence of estuary inflow, temperature and oceanography on the spawning and recruitment of GMC along the NSW coast, as well as various factors affecting trap efficiency and the effectiveness of management actions (i.e. marine parks) on crab catch using various techniques including acoustic telemetry, mark-recapture and dispersal modelling. These patterns will be used to inform management actions planned by NSW DPI in the future.
Hewitt, D.E., SMITH, T.M., Raoult, V., Taylor, M.D., Gaston, T.F. (2020) Stable isotopes reveal the importance of saltmarsh-derived nutrition for two exploited penaeid prawn species in a seagrass dominated system. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (236). doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2020.106622